Airbnb properties may alter Slovakia's rental market

Hundreds of flats on Airbnb are unused due to COVID-19.

The real estate rental market in Slovakia is being affected by new factors, including uncertain economic developments and the return of Slovaks from abroad. The real estate rental market in Slovakia is being affected by new factors, including uncertain economic developments and the return of Slovaks from abroad. (Source: Index)

The March shock, the April return to normality and the May question marks have given rise to many uncertainties over the future development of the real estate rental market. The situation is also being influenced by factors that have not been present before.

These include, hundreds of empty flats rented through Airbnb, the return of many Slovaks from abroad and questions about the development of the economic situation.

The March shock

The flat rental market is specific and intricately linked to real estate prices. When flat prices rise, so do rental prices.

Last year, the consulting company Bencont Investments recorded a 20-percent increase in rental prices.

While in 2018 the average price of a monthly lease in Bratislava stood at €710, it exceeded €900 last year.

The situation should not have changed dramatically this year either, but for the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. Market developments have been turbulent in recent weeks. It all started with a freeze in mid-March.

"From March 16 to 29, we recorded a drop in demand. Clients were still displaying their offers but there were no calls," Filip Žoldák, a partner in the Herrys real estate agency, said.

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