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Senior housing market booming in Poland amid aging population

REAL ESTATESenior housing market booming in Poland amid aging population

In the majority of counties in Poland, one fifth of the population will be over 65 years old within a decade, according to the Central Statistical Office. Even without considering future demographic changes in our country, there is a huge need for specialized housing services for seniors. Currently, the number of places in such institutions in relation to the population of older people ranks us among the last in Europe – according to the “Senior Homes in Poland” report by CBRE and Greenberg Traurig. In our country, most of the supply is in public housing facilities, where places are slowly increasing. However, private facilities are growing dynamically, where, since 2016, the number of places for seniors has increased by 68%.

“In comparison with other European countries, Poland ranks tenth in the European Union in terms of the total number of places offered in senior homes. However, if you compare the number of places in such facilities with the population of older people, our country ranks among the last in all of Europe. The number of places in long-term care facilities per 1,000 residents over 65 years old is six to even seven times lower in Poland compared to leaders such as Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Malta or Belgium and more than four times lower than in Germany. The demand for this type of nursing home is already high in Poland, and considering the projected demographic changes, it will continue to grow,” says Agnieszka Mikulska, a housing market expert at CBRE.

“The increasing demand for development of this sector must be followed by appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks and uniform practice of authorities in terms of, among others, requirements related to the issuance of permits for the operation of facilities, which will facilitate the implementation of investments in the field of senior construction,” adds Kamil Majewski, Local Partner at Greenberg Traurig.

The median age in Poland is rising the fastest in Europe, indicates Eurostat. Currently, it is 41.9 years, but by 2030 it will rise by 7% and reach 45 years. According to the Central Statistical Office forecasts, in the majority of counties in our country in 2033, over 20% of the population will be 65 years old. By 2030, for each person of retirement age in Poland, there will be less than three people of working age.

Senior homes in Poland

In 2022, there were 84,617 places in 902 public social assistance institutions, and there were 26,007 of them in 632 facilities operated within the framework of economic or statutory activity. While the number of places in public centers is slowly growing (4% increase since 2016), the market of private nursing homes is developing rapidly, and compared with 2016, there are now 68% more places in such facilities. Despite this, access to senior homes is not sufficient, especially in the case of public facilities. The waiting time in many centers varies from several months to even several years, depending on the facility and location.

Growing demand

Although the most important factor favoring the increasing demand for senior homes is the aging of society, other demographic, social and financial aspects also influence the development of the market. First, we are dealing with permanent migration of young people to the largest agglomerations, without the possibility of caring for seniors remaining in family homes. Second, the number of multigenerational households, where the younger ones can take care of the older ones, is decreasing. Third, wages are increasing, especially in large cities, so more and more people can afford to cover the costs of round-the-clock care and accommodation for parents or grandparents.

“Also significant is the growing social awareness of the need to activate older people and provide them with optimal living conditions, including appropriate medical care, cultural initiatives, or recreation. These are key elements in the offer of a high-quality senior home,” adds Agnieszka Mikulska, CBRE.

“The existing legislation allows for the provision of various services for residents of senior homes, however, depending on the scope of such services, it may be necessary to enter more than one register kept by public administration bodies. Undoubtedly, reducing the bureaucracy associated with conducting business in this sector, while maintaining requirements in terms of the appropriate quality of services provided to seniors and the safety of seniors, would stimulate the development of this sector,” says Filip Widuch, Senior Associate at Greenberg Traurig.

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