Czechs own almost 80% of the dwellings they occupy, which is one of the highest figures in Europe. This does not stop them, however, longing for even better living. Mortgage loans therefore represent one of the fastest-growing products in the banking system for a decade now.
Since 2000, mortgage loans increased from around 1% to 22.5% of GDP in 2014. This means an average annual growth of 33% seen in the last decade. At the end of 2014, some 18.2% of Czech households had some kind of a mortgage. The average Czech (including babies and senior citizens) therefore had a mortgage debt worth CZK 85,000 per capita (or USD 3,400).
In spite of the impressive growth dynamic, Czechs are among the least indebted in Europe, or at least when compared to the richer part of the Continent. In the East, only Estonians (30.9% of GDP) and Slovaks (23.3% of GDP) have borrowed more than Czechs.
Low interest rates, a lack of alternative investments, the absence of FX-denominated mortgages, very good asset quality of lending and a fast-growing economy - all these ingredients should translate into further mortgage lending demand in the Czech Republic in the coming years.