Last year, the development company Horizon Holding celebrated 20 years of operation in the Czech residential market and this year, they plan to hand over 500 apartments to new owners.
However, they do not only focus on the construction of individual housing blocks, but they also participate in the local infrastructure and landscaping of the surrounding area of the projects. Yishay Furman, CEO at Horizon, spoke to us about their current projects and plans for the future.
In the previous interviews, you presented some of your projects, including AURA Statenice, Zahálka, Modřanka Residence and Kay River Lofts. How do they proceed?
We now successfully continue with the sales of the last phase of Zahálka located next to the Hodkovičky golf course. We just sold out all 355 apartments in nearby Rezidence Modřanka, where are only two retail units left. We recently handed over all 55 units to the clients of Kay River lofts in Karlín and 148 flats to clients at Rezidence Čámovka in Čimice, where we plan to start the next phase soon. Recently, we started sales of our project AURA Statenice with 79 family houses. This project is located near Prague 6 with parking and plots up to 1,500 sq m. Infrastructure works are already ongoing for the last year. We are about to donate more than 100 milion CZK to the village for infrastructure and other facilities as water treatment system, school, etc., up to 3,000 sq m will be designated for retail and will serve current and future residents.
You have started some other projects. What makes them interesting? And what makes your projects different from others?
As I mentioned before, we plan to start the 3rd phase of Čámovka with 400 flats. We also plan to start projects in the city center – Rezidence Blízká in Karlín with 230 apartments and URBANIKA in Smíchov with 160 ones, with beautiful views of Vyšehrad and Prague Castle. For our projects – we always think of them in all complexity – we apply sense and sensibility for housing. We integrate parks, playgrounds for children and even pets or communal gardens. We want to contribute to the locality where we built, we consult what is best with experts. For example, this year in our project Zahálka, we finished the revitalization of Zátiší brook (Zátišský potok), where we restored its basin which was lost underground for a long time. Our projects also receive BREEAM certifications for its sustainability. We apply green roofs, drainage water systems for re-use, recuperation, etc.
Which one would you like to live in?
As I said once before, our projects are like our children. You love them all. But in this case, I would say that after living for the last 17 years in Statenice and Horoměřice, AURA to me is a great project which will welcome families and will renew and refresh the village. As there are big units with huge gardens, it will be a great neighborhood.
There is a constant demand for apartments in Prague. More mobile people buy them as an investment and rent them out to those less mobile who can’t afford a mortgage. How is this reflected in your business?
The fact that flats became expensive is a fact! But people must live somewhere so there will be buyers and if not the final buyers, so it will be investors who will lease the flats. The rents have increased dramatically in the last year. We also believe in that trend and aim two or three projects of ours to keep as flats for rent.
The end of the year is slowly approaching, when the balancing period begins. How will you evaluate this year, if everything goes according to the previous assumptions?
This year we will handover around 500 apartments in total, which is the biggest amount in the history of the company. As we celebrated 20 years on the market as a developer last year, I think it is a very nice milestone for us.
Do you have any predictions for next year? How will the situation develop?
I believe that the market can’t and will not stop. The fact that construction costs increased, plus the expensive interest rate will slow for a while the sales and the increase of the prices, but as there will be small amounts of flats in the market – they will be sold. Prague can’t stay with 2,000–3,000 flats a year and must have at least 6,000–7,000 new ones to meet the demand. Today the situation worldwide is problematic with high inflation and worries, but I guess that during 2023 and 2024 things will come back to the stage as was 2021.