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January Data Signals Moderate Optimism for Polish Housing Market

REAL ESTATEJanuary Data Signals Moderate Optimism for Polish Housing Market

January statistics from Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) for housing construction usually indicate a slight or significant weakening of investment activity. However, as experts from point out, this year a noticeable slump in volume occurred only in the case of completed housing units. In the other two categories of data, it can be argued that the values have been maintained at reasonably promising levels.

January marked by a continuation of investment sluggishness

The beginning of this year did not bring about a breakthrough in the noticeably weakened dynamics of changes in housing construction data witnessed over the last few months. Rather, it suggested the prospect of their continuity in the foreseeable future at average levels, with a chance for progress in the event of a potential improvement in market conditions. This time, the strong corrective nature of GUS’s January data only affected completed housing units.

As experts from explain, the latter do not fundamentally matter for assessing the current business cycle, although such a sharp decrease to levels well below 15,000 in total may seem somewhat depressing even for the beginning of the year.

This poor outcome is largely due to developers, whose January results amounted to a record low of only 8,300 units, a decline of around 25% year on year and almost 40% compared to the previous December. It seems that developers considerably accelerated their completion work at the end of last year, which could slow down dynamics in the first few months of this year.

Housing starts still at an average level

Regardless of the state of the market cycle, housing construction has a long-standing tradition of slowing investment activity in the first few weeks of each year. As a result, January has been consistently the slowest month in the housing market in terms of statistics for new construction starts for many years. The volume in the first month of the year is usually significantly lower than the annual average, thereby setting a low point from which recovery occurs in subsequent periods.

However, in January of this year, the construction of 15,700 houses began in total, a result better by over 66% year on year. Meanwhile, developers themselves started construction of over 12,000 units, which more than doubled the dynamics of these data year on year. Unfortunately, as experts explain, this rate of progress does not mean anything other than a return of investment activity to average levels. This is due to a record low base from the beginning of last year and the ensuing sharp restriction of new developments after the collapse of developer contracts in 2022. Nevertheless, maintaining the level of developer investments started in January at a relatively steady level compared to recent months can be considered a moderately optimistic forecast for this year.

New permits with satisfactory potential

In the case of new building permit statistics, January resulted in corrective resolution month-on-month, however to a far less spectacular extent than with completed housing units. GUS recorded a total of 20,500 of these in the last month, a few percentage points lower than in December 2023 but over one-third higher than the same period last year. experts explain that new building permit statistics remain relatively reliable for assessing the housing market’s future demand potential. Therefore, January’s results of 14,600 are noteworthy, 7% weaker than the previous December but 42% better than the same period last year. Unfortunately, in this case, it is also due to a record-breaking collapse at the beginning of 2023 and correspondingly low numbers. Nonetheless, the number of new permits achieved by developers in January can still be considered quite satisfying and promising in light of the current quite difficult and unpredictable times.

The investment climate in the primary market in the coming months will largely depend on final government decisions concerning the new home loan subsidy program. January was a moderately positive month for developers in terms of sales; if these levels are maintained in the coming months, it may result in a braver approach by entrepreneurs to launch new investments. The lack of a clear pullback in January’s statistics for new building permits and housing starts allows for quite optimistic predictions for the development of the investment climate in the coming months.

Author: Jarosław Jędrzyński, expert at

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