When it comes to market forecasts, Poland's property market is like any other: some specialists predict prices will decrease, others say prices will rise. However, the majority of analysts predict a slow, constant growth of prices.
The biggest demand is for mid-priced properties. Many people can afford these accommodations, so they are sold off quickly, which is why developers have started to invest in cheaper flats about 60 sqm large.
Smaller flats answer the demand of the biggest group of potential buyers. During the boom years, however, developers focused mainly on high-class apartments. Since many customers can no longer afford these, there is a large oversupply and a lot of empty luxury housing.
Prices vary significantly depending on the city where you want to buy. The following is a list of average flat prices per square meter (figures from 2010):
- Warsaw - 8.200 PLN
- Cracow 7.100 PLN
- Tricity (Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot), Poznań and Wrocław – 6.600 PLN
- Łódź – 5.500 PLN
Take into account that the property's prices may start to rise soon again, since the Polish government predicts Poland will join the Euro currency zone (in 2015-2018).
Resale properties market
Before the economic crisis, second-hand real estate (mainly built before 1989) was overvalued. However, since 2009 costs of second-hand properties started to fall. According to analysts, prices will still decrease over the next few years. After the price drop of new apartments, there is almost no demand for resale flats.
The cheapest flats were built during the People's Republic of Poland period (before 1990) when the government introduced programs aiming to supply every Polish family with a flat. The state constructed huge blocks of flats with very small apartments and minuscule rooms (the longest block, located in Gdańsk, is 860m long and contains 1792 flats for around 6.000 inhabitants). These types of property still makes up the vast majority of second-hand real estate, but Poles consider them uncomfortable and outdated.
Recently, the loft apartment market has gained more attention. Since there are a lot of abandoned factories and warehouses (some of them built in the 19th century), developers have started to convert them for residential or business purposes. Most of these properties have relatively high prices.
Popular places for foreigners
The fastest growing property market in Poland is concentrated around the capital. Warsaw's metropolitan area is inhabited by over 3 million people, and the architecture has changed drastically since 1989. People who remember the city's former image claim it's not any more “grey, socialistic, concrete Warsaw” it used to be. However, the aesthetics of the new architecture are fiercely discussed.
The costs of property in Warsaw are the highest in entire country (except in a few tourist areas). Average prices in the centre are more than 12.000 PLN/sqm. A few years ago the de-urbanisation of the city became visible, as many inhabitants have been moving to more tranquil, safer suburbs. Because of that, costs on the outskirts of Warsaw are rising. The majority of those properties are detached houses with prices starting at 1.800 PLN/sqm.
Other popular areas for foreign buyers are the mountains and the seaside. The Polish coast used to be underestimated for many years, but the prices of land there are attractive to foreigners. Investors are answering the demand for leisure properties, and they have started serious projects there. This is particularly visible in Sopot, the most expensive Polish resort in Gdańsk Bay where average price is 10.200 PLN/m2.