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Poland Property Boosted By 'EasyJet Effect'
Prices in Poland to be affected by the announcement of fourteen new routes from the UK to Poland, to begin in the next two months.
Currency specialists at HiFX have turned their attention to Poland in their latest Global Property Hotpots report, by revealing that overseas buyer attention has increased three-fold in the last 2 months.
They put this increased interest down to the so-called 'Easyjet effect', where property prices are boosted by the availability of cheap and regular flights to a particular region, and expect it's impact to be felt in several East European countries.
Mark Bodega of HiFX said; 'The ease of access to a property has a real impact on its success as a holiday home as well as its future sale value. For example in Bergerac, in the Dordogne in France, property prices have risen by 157 per cent since 2001 when the new routes started flying there.'
The availability of cheap, regular flights is a big factor in the increased popularity of countries with traditionally strong holiday and overseas home markets - France, Spain, Italy and Greece.
Bad news for Poles trying to buy property in Poland?
Could affect the already overheated Krakow market, but Brits prefer sunnier locations with a spot of sea view or decent ski locations ... and Polish resorts don't cut the mustard.
Prices seem to be levelling off here in Warsaw. A lot of people have bought new flats but not sold their old one, which they subsequently can't rent due to a glut in the rental market.
And some of the better developers have stopped people buying off-plan then selling the shell before the building is completed. That was popular here for a while (and there are still people who've bought from somebody who bought from somebody who bought off-plan, and haven't got the cash to pay the developer unless they find another mug further down the pyramid).
I haven't noticed any levelling off of prices here in the west. If anything prices seem to be going ever upward. Not because of foreigners buying though.
One of the biggest wild cards which will effect the alleged property boom in Poland is the lack of drinking water. The more demand placed on manufacturing industries and demands for home saunas etc will have dire effects on Poland. We all know that most Poles used to wash only once a week, and this usually took the form of youngest child in the bath followed by other children and then parents. Now the young want long hot baths on a daily basis, greater consumption of products needing water as a by product etc.
With global warming, Poland will be severely effected.
Not much has been done to improve water storages in Poland, I doubt if anything has been done in that direction.
Water is a problem in Poland, irrespective of any effect globulous worming might have.
Back in May the meteorologists tld us we were going to have the longest, hottest, driest summer ever ...
Yeah some of the water in small villages needs to be boiled before consuption.
It would be a complete nonsense to have major development in these small towns.
Look after the zlotys
The Polish market is one of the strongest in eastern Europe – and it might just have got better
Antony Tilney’s property portfolio reads like a Ryanair departure board: Katowice, Cracow, Brno – name any of those eastern European cities that few of us can pronounce properly, let alone have ever visited, and the former IT consultant has either already bought property there or considered doing so.
Since May 2004, when he acquired his first flat in Prague, Tilney, 38, from Farnham, Surrey, has snapped up no fewer than 32 investment flats in the new European Union member states. The properties, from Latvia in the north to Cyprus in the south, cost him a total £2.7m (of which he has £2m worth of mortgages).
“I’ve got 10 in the Czech Republic, 10 in Poland, two each in Slovakia and Latvia, three in Romania and five in Cyprus,” he says, pausing as he struggles to remember the location of one of his more esoteric purchases – a glance at his spreadsheet reveals it to be Swinoujscie, a Polish port town near the German border. “If I sold them now, I would get about £3.3m. But they’re my pension. I’m hoping that in 10 or 20 years’ time, they will have tripled in value.”
Tilney, who gave up his job to concentrate on his portfolio, bought his most recent property in Katowice, in southern Poland, in June, but is not planning further large-scale acquisitions, as he is at the limit of what he can manage on his own. “I’m not thinking of buying another 10 any time soon, but I will probably pick up the odd one here or there,” he says. Taking advantage of the knowledge he has built up, he is offering an advice service to other would-be investors. His tips: parts of Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania.
Susan Challenger, 35, a change-management consultant from St Albans, Hertfordshire, is following in Tilney’s footsteps. Until earlier this year, her only link with eastern Europe was with Polish tenants in the house she owns in north Wales. This summer, after extensive research, she decided to buy two investment properties, one also in Katowice, for about £60,000 and another, in Gliwice, an even more obscure town in Silesia, for £90,000. Both properties were off-plan and will be completed next year. “I appreciate it’s a high-risk investment, but even if it goes wrong, it is not going to bankrupt me,” says Challenger.
Poland has had one of the best-performing economies – and property markets – of all the former communist countries in recent years, despite the often controversial policies pursued by its ruling twins – Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the prime minister, and his brother Lech, the president. The defeat of the brothers’ right-wing Law and Justice party in last Sunday’s election by the more free-market, pro-business Civic Platform party, looks set to give the economy a further boost. Donald Tusk, expected to the country’s new leader, has said his priorities are cutting bureaucracy, limiting the role of officials over state-controlled firms and introducing a new flat rate of income tax – which should make the country more attractive to property investors.
Simon Tweddle, chief analyst for Property Secrets, a Crewe-based company that specialises in sourcing new-build properties in the region, believes the market in Poland will continue to grow. However, the best prospects are not in Warsaw, the capital, where prices rose 33% last year, or Cracow, where they were up 45%, or Wroclaw, where they surged 55%. Rather, they are in obscure provincial places that have hitherto featured on the radar of only the most sophisticated investors.
“Warsaw could rise between 5% and 10% this year, but Cracow and Wroclaw are both looking overpriced,” says Tweddle. “Bydgoszcz, Szczecin, Bialystok, Lublin and Rzeszow are the kind of places that have the most potential for short-term growth.
“But there is always more risk, too. If you want to rent out somewhere in Warsaw, there will be a whole bunch of different management companies. I’m not sure how easy it would be to find someone in Rzeszow, for example, who is reliable and speaks English.”
But with tens of thousands of Poles seeking their fortunes in Britain and elsewhere, will there be anyone left to rent or ultimately buy all these properties from foreign investors when they sell? “The overall population may be going down, but there is a huge movement from the countryside to the towns,” says Tweddle. The property market is also being driven up by those same expatriate Poles investing some of their earnings back home.
Despite signs of a slowdown in property markets across the world, especially under the impact of the credit crunch caused by this summer’s crisis in the financial markets, the trend is upward in most of the region, according to 2008 forecasts by Property Secrets (see table). Prices in Slovakia and Slovenia, for example, should rise by 15%, and in Sofia and other Bulgarian cities by at least 10%, it predicts. Some of the strongest rises look likely in the Czech Republic, with prices in Prague up a predicted 25% and in Brno, the second city, by 30%. Romania looks strong too, with rises of 30% in Bucharest, the capital, and 20% in the port city of Constanta. “Prague is especially good,” Tweddle says. “That’s where I’d put my money.”
There are signs of trouble elsewhere, though, especially in the three Baltic states. Property Secrets predicts prices in Estonia and Lithuania will both rise by a modest 5% next year, while those in Latvia will not grow at all. This may be optimistic: other recent reports suggested prices in Estonia and Latvia have already fallen back by 8%-10% over the last few months.
Investing in the east
Predicted property price rises in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe for 2008
Katowice 20% Poznan 5%-10%
Czech Republic 25%
>> One of the biggest wild cards which will effect the alleged property boom in Poland is the lack of drinking water. The more demand placed on manufacturing industries and demands for home saunas etc will have dire effects on Poland.
I wasn't aware that saunas used significant amounts of water! - don't you pour the water on the rocks with a small ladle?
Hmmm - I remember hearing about Katowice some time ago as being the place to invest.