Is there any other affordable real estate in Poland? Review of current prices and mortgage rates in an interview with an expert

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Есть ли еще недорогая недвижимость в Польше? Обзор текущих цен и ипотечных ставок в интервью с экспертом

The demand for Polish real estate is not weakening, and local realtors expect further price increases in the foreseeable future. To find out what is happening in the Polish real estate market, we talked with Natalia Zaitseva, CEO and realtor of Etalon Estate Group.

The most liquid options are being sorted out at the excavation stage.

About changes in real estate prices in Poland

Есть ли еще недорогая недвижимость в Польше? Обзор текущих цен и ипотечных ставок в интервью с экспертом

Over the past decades, prices have been growing very systematically and constantly — about 8-10% per year. There were several small jumps: when the wave of emigration from Belarus began and Ukraine (up to 15% per annum), as well as in the summer of 2023, when Poland introduced a state program to support mortgage lending for first-home buyers. This option was used not only by Poles, but also by foreigners with a residence permit.

The price growth trend continues, and according to our forecasts, it will continue for a long time. In 2024, a new bill on additional mortgage subsidies is expected: that is, say, if a citizen takes out a mortgage at 7% per annum, the state will finance most of this, and the person will need to pay the remaining 1-1.5%, depending on marital status, income, and so on. It will also boost prices, demand and supply availability in the market.

About the demand for different types of real estate 

— The demand for Polish real estate has been and is high for many reasons: it is one of the most inexpensive EU countries with a high standard of living. Real estate here is still worth less compared to neighboring Germany.

Due to this, a wave of emigration has rushed here, many foreign companies are opening branches here and transporting employees to optimize taxes.

The greatest demand is for two- and three—bedroom apartments* in large cities – Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Gdansk. They are bought mainly for investment and rental; but also for their own living, of course, too.

Poles themselves invest not only in local real estate, but also in facilities in other countries such as Spain and Cyprus.

*Two—room apartments are one—bedroom apartments (40-45 sq.m.), three-room apartments are two-bedroom apartments (from 50 to 70 squares). 

Over the past year, prices have increased by 20-25%.

About sales volumes and prices for apartments in different cities

— In general, there is enough housing on the Polish market, although it should be noted that the most liquid options are being sorted out at the construction stage. By the time the house is completed, only large three-bedroom apartments remain.

Over the past year, the cost of housing has increased by 20-25% — before that, the growth was about 8-10% per year. Warsaw has the highest real estate prices; Krakow is behind it in this ranking, followed by Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw at about the same level.

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— I will give examples of the prices of objects in Poznan: new buildings without finishing cost 10-14 thousand zlotys per sq.m (~$2500—$3500), in the secondary market with finishing — 15-16 thousand zlotys. That is, we always add about 2 thousand zlotys per meter (~ $500) for finishing.

In good areas, you can find apartments with finishes at the price of new buildings without repairs.

At the same time, in the secondary market, if you study the market well, you can find very liquid high-quality options in good areas at the same price as from the developer (which will be without finishing). It’s just that houses with such apartments will be 8-15 years old.

Есть ли еще недорогая недвижимость в Польше? Обзор текущих цен и ипотечных ставок в интервью с экспертом

— The rise in prices has affected every type of property. The most expensive real estate in Poland are objects in the centers of large cities, in new luxury houses, sometimes in the suburbs (if made of expensive and high—quality materials), as well as renovated kamenica (these are houses of the late 19th century in the center of cities with high ceilings).

The houses built in the 1950s and 1980s were the slowest to become more expensive in our market. That is, if apartments in 2023 increased in value by 20%, then in this segment — by 10-12%.

It is also cheaper to buy real estate in the suburbs of large cities, and in fairly good residential complexes, but it is suitable only for your own residence — it is not quite suitable for investors due to low demand for rent.

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About the purchase of housing by foreigners

— Real estate in Poland is absolutely accessible to everyone — there is no difference in its design, whether a Pole or a foreigner buys it. But there are nuances when it comes to land.

The fact is that foreigners cannot buy land plots, houses on such plots, commercial real estate and facilities in border areas without special permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. To obtain such a permit, it is necessary to prove a connection with Poland (to have a visit card, a Polish card or to conduct business in the country), as well as indicate the source of origin of funds (whether it is a mortgage, earned money in Poland or another country, etc.).

It is important to take into account that at the time of submitting the application to the agency, you should already have selected and booked a property, a preliminary agreement has been concluded with the owner, who, in turn, must agree to wait until you receive such permission. As a rule, this whole process takes from 3 months to a year.

If you do not want to wait or there is no opportunity, you can find other options: for example, to buy a house in In Poland, for a company open in the country, or to buy a townhouse — the same house, only without being tied to the land (in this case, it is simply in use by the owner).

From €1,740 to €3,880 per “square”. How have apartment prices changed in Poland?

About interest rates and their impact on the market

— As for the mortgage, foreigners can take it if they have a residence permit (even temporary) and a stable income in Poland. They will also check the marital status, the amount of income, the presence of dependent children, and so on — there are quite a lot of nuances.

The interest rate in Poland consists of the rate of a particular bank (about 1.5-2%) and WIBOR, the refinancing rate set by the state. 2-3 years ago, WIBOR was close to zero, which allowed banks to raise their rates and earn more — at that time, total rates were at 3.5%. Then the refinancing rate increased, and now the total rate is about 7-8%, depending on the bank.

We hope that the refinancing rate will decrease and the availability of loans will increase. At the same time, as I have already said, the state is constantly coming up with something for its citizens, for example, it regularly launches mortgage subsidy programs.

About taxes on the purchase and ownership of real estate 

— When buying on the secondary market, a tax is paid 2% of the cost, it is not available on the primary market. At the same time, there is a benefit in the secondary market for those who buy their first home in life. 

When owning, you need to pay an annual low land tax — about 200 zlotys per year (about $ 50) for a standard apartment. It is calculated individually for each property in the city administration immediately after the purchase of the property.

About buyers and tenants 

— There are several categories of foreigners buying real estate in Poland.

The first are foreigners from the former CIS countries, who usually rent housing first, and then, after getting a job and obtaining a residence permit, buy an apartment with a mortgage. The loan payment comes out plus or minus the same as in the case of a lease. 

There are foreign investors who buy apartments, including remotely, for their subsequent rental.

And there are those who, after much thought, decide to immigrate to Poland — they most often buy large three-bedroom apartments or townhouses in the suburbs and already move here for permanent residence.

Most foreigners rent housing in Poland. Most often these are programmers from former CIS countries (especially from Belarus), students and families who do not have a residence permit or are planning to move to another country.

By the way, rental rates have recently fallen to the previous level after a 1.5-2 fold jump in 2022, which happened due to a wave of emigration from Ukraine. 

Now in In Poznan, you can rent a studio for 1,800—2,200 zlotys ($450—$550), a two—bedroom apartment for 2500-3000 zlotys ($620—$750), a three-bedroom apartment for 3500-4000 zlotys ($870—$1,000). All this is without taking into account communal services. It will be 30-40% more expensive in Warsaw. The rates depend heavily on the area and the level of the house.

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Forecasts and recommendations to customers

— We expect a steady increase in prices, an even greater increase in demand from foreigners, including Germans, investing in cheaper Polish real estate. Over time, the Polish market is likely to catch up with the German market in terms of prices. At least, that’s what analysts think. 

If a foreigner wants to buy a property, but does not have the entire amount yet, I would not recommend postponing the purchase, as prices are constantly rising. You can use the installment plan from the developer at the construction stage — make 30%, and pay the rest in installments before the house is delivered. This amount is not subject to any interest. This is an absolutely safe option — the rights of the buyer are protected in Poland more than the rights of the developer.

Here, when buying an apartment on the primary market, a target blocked bank account is opened, where the money is received, which is paid by the buyer, and they are issued to the developer only at the moment when he has completed a certain stage of work. That is, the developer built 30% of the object — he received 30% of the total amount to his account. All contracts are signed by a notary and immediately after signing, an entry is made in the State Register.

There are long—term construction projects, but there are few of them – about 5%. You can minimize such risks by being well versed in the market and knowing the reputation of developers. I would recommend either studying the market carefully on your own, or contacting a professional realtor. 

Although the licensing of real estate activities in Poland does not have to, I would recommend paying attention to it anyway. In order to obtain such a license, you need to pass a fairly difficult exam in law and knowledge of legislation related to real estate. A list of licensed agencies and agents can be requested from the Polish Real Estate Market Federation.

Author

Есть ли еще недорогая недвижимость в Польше? Обзор текущих цен и ипотечных ставок в интервью с экспертом

Yulia Yanukovych Editor-in-Chief

I am responsible for the work of the editorial office. I write expert interviews and guides.

Information provided by Etalon Estate Group

Есть ли еще недорогая недвижимость в Польше? Обзор текущих цен и ипотечных ставок в интервью с экспертом

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