Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

Affordable Housing Still Out of Reach for Many Poles

REAL ESTATEAffordable Housing Still Out of Reach for Many Poles

Record-breaking property prices mean that an increasing number of Poles cannot afford to purchase a new apartment or house. As many as 62% of them rate the current property prices as extremely high, according to a survey conducted on behalf of rankomat.pl. Of the respondents, 67% believe that a drop in prices would be the key factor to assist them in buying their own property. Only a quarter of them count on support from a new public program.

25,000 PLN per square meter – this is the price one can expect to pay for an apartment in Warsaw. In other cities, property prices are also reaching record levels – over the last year, they have increased by an average of 30%. This is the result of the huge popularity of the 2% Safe Mortgage program, which not only caused a drastic increase in prices, but also drained the market of properties for sale. Experts from rankomat.pl – a comparison site for financial products and insurance – have checked how Poles rate current prices. 62% of them believe they are extremely high. At the opposite end of the spectrum, only 1% of respondents believe that buying a house or apartment is currently price-attractive.

What can help in buying a property?

In the opinion of respondents, the most important factor that could bring them closer to a new apartment or house is… a drop in prices. This is indicated by as many as 67% of respondents. Half of them also hope for an increase in wages. For 41%, a significant facilitation would be cheaper home loans. 28% indicated the development of affordable cooperative construction, and 21% the development of a public program for the construction of rental housing. Only 26% of respondents see their chance to buy a new apartment or house in the next public support program, which is the successor to the 2% Safe Mortgage program.

“It is difficult to evaluate the 2% Safe Mortgage program unambiguously. On one hand, it was an opportunity for over 100,000 people to buy their first property under preferential terms. On the other hand, it disrupted the balance in the real estate market and led to a sudden increase in prices to unprecedented levels. People who are thinking about buying a new property know this, which is why they fear that the launch of another program may push prices up even further ” – says Konrad Pluciński, financial product expert at rankomat.pl.

“Apartment to Start” – what do we know about the program?

In early January, the Ministry of Development and Technology outlined a program that is to replace Safe Credit 2%. The program is supposed to support the purchase of the first apartment mainly for people with lower incomes and families with children. The loans under the program are to be granted from the second half of 2024 and in 2025. Loan installment subsidies will be in effect for 10 years. In this year’s budget, the budget for subsidies has been set at PLN 500 million, meaning that people who want to benefit from the subsidies and meet the program’s assumptions will again have to hurry up with filing credit applications. Rankomat.pl experts have collected all available information that has been made public.

Support more attractive

The loan under the new program will be cheaper than its predecessor, and the interest rate will depend on the number of people in the household. According to assumptions, the more children, the cheaper the loan. The interest rate, after the subsidy, will be:

  • 1.5% in the case of a one and two-person household,
  • 1% in a three-person household,
  • 0.5% in a four-person household,
  • 0% in a five-person household and larger.

“The zero-interest loan will also be available to cover the costs of participation in SIM or TBS or a housing contribution in a housing cooperative” – adds Konrad Pluciński, rankomat.pl expert.

Age and income limits – will they be an obstacle?

The credit will benefit singles up to the age of 35, and for people with children, the age limit has been removed. In the case of Safe Credit 2%, it was 45 years old.

According to the assumptions of the creators of the project, the new program is to limit the number of beneficiaries to people who need the most support. However, the proposed income thresholds that depend on the number of people in the household are very high:

  • 10,000 PLN gross monthly for a one-person household,
  • 18,000 PLN gross monthly for a two-person household,
  • 23,000 PLN gross monthly for a three-person household,
  • 28,000 PLN gross monthly for a four-person household,
  • 33,000 PLN gross monthly for a five-person or larger household.

While in the case of a single borrower, there may be a problem with the credit capacity, the proposed thresholds in the case of larger families should not negatively affect the possibility of buying an apartment with a preferential loan.

In addition, the project assumes that exceeding a specified limit will not exclude from the program, but will only mean that the subsidy will be smaller. In the case of a single, the subsidy will be reduced by 50 cents for each PLN exceeding the limit. For larger households, this will be 25 cents for each zloty.

Property prices may continue to rise

“The introduction of additional restrictions, which were not in the previous program, is to result in a slowdown in the growth of property prices. However, it may be difficult to achieve, as about 50,000 borrowers may benefit from the new program this year alone. This value, just like for 2% Safe Mortgage, may be underestimated. Meanwhile, the market already lacks properties that can be purchased. This can fuel further price growth” – assesses Konrad Pluciński.

The Start Apartment does not introduce limits on the price of an apartment available under the program. The restriction, however, will apply to the available amount of the loan with a subsidy. The amount of credit with subsidy shall be dependent on the number of people in the household and shall amount to:

  • 200,000 PLN for a single,
  • 400,000 PLN for 2 people in the household,
  • 450,000 PLN for 3 people in the household,
  • 500,000 PLN for 4 people in the household,
  • 600,000 PLN for 5 people in the household and will increase by 100,000 PLN with each additional person in the household.

The borrower will be able to take advantage of a larger loan, but the excess will be granted on standard terms. This means that practically any property, at least in part, can be financed by a Start Apartment loan.

The program is also to be adapted to the specifics of our housing market, and in the case of some locations, the loan limit with a subsidy will be higher due to the high prices deviating from the average. When buying an apartment in a city with county rights being the capital of a voivodship, for which the governor announced the replacement value of 1 square meter of a residential premises is at least 15% higher than the value announced for the entire country, the available amount of credit will be higher by 10%. In cities where the replacement value of 1 square meter of property will be higher by at least 30%, the available limit will be increased by 20%.

2% Safe Mortgage officially finished

Due to the exhaustion of the expected limits for subsidies, banks have stopped accepting applications for Safe Credit 2%, and the program has been suspended. The budget planned for 2023 and 2024 was used up in 6 months. The huge interest in preferential credit led to bottlenecks in banks, which were unable to process credit applications and caused a sharp increase in property prices.

“The high amount of credit available under the program, the lack of property price limits and income thresholds have made the credit used by people who could not afford a traditional mortgage, but also by those who would easily get financing on standard terms” – comments Konrad Pluciński, rankomat.pl expert.

***

The study, commissioned by rankomat.pl, was carried out by Wavemaker on December 22, 2023, on a nationwide group of 973 people.

Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles