Suburbs growing faster than Prague

A number of factors are forcing people to look outside of the city

More people are moving to the suburbs just outside of Prague’s city limits. In the past, the demand was mainly for houses with gardens. More recently, people have been seeking apartments, and developers are newly adding more apartment buildings to suburban projects.

The rate of population growth of both the Prague East and Prague West districts has outstripped the growth of the city of Prague between 2001 and ’17.

Since 2001, some 85,000 inhabitants have been added to the area around Prague. There were 123,745 people living in Prague-East (Praha-východ) and Prague-West (Praha-západ) in 2001. By 2017 had risen to almost 209,247 inhabitants, according to figures from the Prague Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Praha).

In Prague East this was a growth of 70 percent, while in Prague West it was 67 percent. The city of Prague grew only 10 percent, from 1.16 million to 1.29 million in the same time. The Central Bohemia region, which includes Prague East and Prague West districts but not the city of Prague grew 20 percent.

The highest level of growth was between 2006 and ’09, when there was an economic downturn. Then it slowed with the collapse of the real estate market worldwide. It has picked up pace in the past four years, with the rise of housing prices in Prague forcing people to look elsewhere.

A combination of factors, including the lack of new projects in Prague, real estate speculation and residential housing being converted to short-term tourist rentals, have driven prices up in Prague to a point where flats are out of reach for many people.
There is less price pressure on flats outside of the city, as fewer of the flats are used for short-term rentals and there is less speculation.

Some people also simply prefer a house to a flat and do not want to live in the noisy city center. Some 42 percent of Prague residents see a family home as the ideal living situation, according to surveys. For the price of a medium-size new flat in the city center, a family can get a house in the suburbs.

A drawback to living in the suburbs, though, is the commute, as infrastructure has not kept pace with the population growth. Prague and the Central Bohemia region have been working together to improve public transit options. The two Prague ring roads meant to facilitate drivers from the suburbs, however, remain incomplete.

The largest growth in percent was in the village of Nakupy, which rose from 95 people in 2001 to 1,764 in 2017, a growth of 1,757 percent. The village of Květnice grew 1,488 percent, from 118 people to 1,606.

By volume, the largest growth was in Milovice, which added 7,292 people to reach 11,508. Since it started from 4,216, this was only 173 percent. Jesenice and Říčany also showed large growth in sheer numbers of new residents.

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