Residential market in Poland
In 2023 supply did not keep up with demand. Developers in some markets were unable to add new projects to their offerings at a pace to satisfy it
Compared to the July-September period, Q4 2023 turned out to be slightly weaker in terms of the number of residential units sold. This was mainly the result of an extremely limited offer in some cities, as well as the acceleration of purchases in two earlier quarters. The buyers feared that the program of subsidized mortgage loans (“BK2”) would not continue, or that funds for subsidies would run out as late as December. In total, in six major markets, Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, the Tri-City, Poznań, and Łódź, developers sold 14,300 units in Q4, 13% less than in the previous quarter.
In whole 2023, however, we saw a significant increase in the number of units sold. Demand got an additional boost from the program supporting first-time buyers, leading to the signing of some 60,000 loan agreements in 2023, of which probably around 35-40% related to the primary market, with around 10,000 transactions likely in the largest markets. The “BK2” housing program was, therefore, a factor strongly supporting the demand side, further mobilising, especially from the second quarter, the other groups of buyers to make faster purchase decisions.
New supply and offer
The last two years have been quite unusual in terms of new supply. First, in Q2 2022 developers motivated by regulatory changes launched many more units than they sold, thus securing their ability to sell apartments under the “old rules”. This resulted in an oversupply. In 2023, we observed a different situation. Sales skyrocketed and the supply side, despite a stock of new 2022 supply, could not keep up with demand. Developers launched 12% fewer apartments in the six largest markets throughout last year. In absolute numbers, this meant 43,000 new units and it was the lowest result in a decade.
Throughout 2023, in the six markets combined, the number of apartments sold clearly exceeded new supply, leading to a situation where offerings at the end of December were at one of the lowest levels in the last decade.
- The annual performance of residential sales in the six largest markets was significantly better than sales in 2022, comparable even to a period of prosperity in the residential market.
- Supply did not keep up with demand. Developers in some markets were unable to add new projects to their offerings at a pace to satisfy it. In total, in the six markets, developers launched just 43,000 units last year against 58,000 units sold. The biggest problems with new launches were seen in the three largest markets – Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław.
- According to the announcement, the new program of subsidized loans for first-time buyers "Mieszkanie na start" would come into effect in the second half of the year, which could mean a repeat of the 2023 situation for the housing market: high sales, supply problems and further increases in average prices.