Beyond the statistics - What's happening at street level
Penthouses may be losing their allure.
Securing a mortgage during the pandemic was not as difficult as you might have thought. In the early period of the pandemic, banks tightened up their lending criteria, increasing cash deposit demands and excluding workers from certain sectors they felt may be under threat. A year on and applications are down less than 1% from pre-pandemic levels with approved mortgages down less than 3% for the same period. These numbers are better than many other European countries where expected property market collapses failed to materialise. In fact, Poland recorded the second highest price rise in Europe during 2020.
Views from the street
BigDoor24 has asked a number of Credit Advisors and Property Agents from around Poland to give us their personal views and experience of todays Polish mortgage and property market. We have amalgamated and edited their responses for clarity.
Demand for properties have shifted noticeably from centrally located high-rise apartments to single-house plots and low rise, suburban apartment units. Additionally, most purchasing conversations now regularly include queries regarding work-from-home spaces. There is increasing demand for houses over apartments relative to pre-pandemic times. Additionally, second hand properties are more in demand due to their more immediate availability. Any rental effects will be more evident later in the year as Universities re-open. Property prices are not rising as quickly as before but they are rising. In many ways, the market has adapted to the new normal and can be considered quite stable.
As mentioned at the top, demand for mortgages has remained the same and banks have adjusted in various areas. Some banks who demanded increased cash deposits initially have reduced this demand to 10% again but lending margins have increased. This is due to increased perceived risk on behalf of the bank and the reduction to near zero ( 0.10%) of the base rate. The Central Bank has stated it's expectation that base interest rates will remain for at least two years. However, this is not guaranteed as inflation threats may lead to an earlier hike. You may be able to minimise your margin by providing higher deposit percentages. In general, banks are more open to lending than they were six or months ago although those who work in particularly pandemic hit sectors like restaurants or physical services may find it more difficult to successfully apply.
BigDoor24.pl has already seen a rise in queries and applications with its busiest January on record for mortgages and property purchases. We published our own forecasts in December and nothing that has happened since has caused us to change our mind.
Our conversations with our associated Credit Advisors and Property Agents have shown similar predictions.
Very simply, the criteria required by new property buyers has changed, demand has remained constant, while prices have risen slightly but remain subdued. There is no expectation that prices will fall and the cost of mortgages is expected to remain accessible and historically low with inflation risks being the only real concern.
If you wish to speak to a local Mortgage Advisor or Property Agent who speaks your language, simply enter your details on our site and we will put you in touch. A completely free service that includes cashback for successful mortgage applicants and built-in commission discounts.
Keep those masks on so we can get out of this pesky pandemic quicker!