Prices of apartments depend mostly on construction costs, which, in addition to the building materials and labor, also include the impact of legal regulations. Last year, technical conditions forced investors to build houses meeting much stricter energy standards. In practice, this means higher expenditures on certain products.
Changes in technical conditions, which are currently being prepared by the Ministry of Development and Technology and concern the issue of insolation of apartments and parking spaces in underground garages, may raise doubts, according to the GetHome.pl portal.
While restrictions addressing insolation, for example, are particularly important because they prevent the construction of flats where twilight reigns all day, technical criteria contain precise requirements for the period of insolation of apartments. The issue is that meeting these conditions in a highly populated city center is difficult. As a result, they do not apply to one-room apartments. This forces developers to create studios in some ways. Developers sold more studio flats this year in cities with the highest housing prices than they provided to the market, according to BIG DATA RynekPierwotny.pl. As a result, the offer has dropped significantly, and costs per square meter are on average the highest.
Meanwhile, one of the technical conditions has been changed to remove this type of exception from the application of sunshine standards. This means that no new gloomy studio apartments will be erected in city centers. This may be a disservice to potential studio buyers. Because developers would be required to design flats with a significantly bigger space, their supply in new buildings constructed in city centers will most likely drop. According to GetHome.pl, as a result, prices of studio flats in desirable locations may rise.
People and businesses that can match the need for studio flats by transforming huge apartments into several square metres will benefit in this situation. This is already taking place; for example, 80m2 apartments for sale with separate one-room apartments are being advertised as “rental investment packages.” Not only are sunlight regulations disregarded, but also fire safety and ventilation.
Furthermore, a growing number of so-called micro-apartments are being constructed. An apartment must be at least 25m2 in size to meet technical requirements. Micro-apartments are typically a few square meters in size. That is why, despite the fact that they are frequently represented as residential in advertisements, they are legally commercial properties. Their costs per square meter may surprise even the most hardened Kowalski. For example, one of the developers offers “hotel flats” with areas ranging from 12 to 45m2 in the heart of Wrocaw for PLN 18,700 to 33,300/m2.
Officials have also proposed a change in technical conditions that might raise the cost of developing subterranean garages, affecting not only the price of a parking space but also the price of flats. The width and length of parking spaces, for example, are determined by technical circumstances. The zoning plan or, if the plot is not covered by one, the zoning decision, determines their minimum and maximum numbers. The developer obtains a permit for the construction of a building or a housing estate on the basis of it. Depending on the location, each unit may be limited to one, two, or even three parking places. So in case of a building with 100 apartments, the developer has to provide the residents with e.g. 100, 150 or 200 parking spaces.
Some developers try to cut expenses by providing so-called family spots, which allow two cars to park one behind the other or unique platforms that allow one car to park above the other. This is unquestionably not a pleasant situation for residents. On the other side, they pay substantially less (e.g. 65 thousand zlotys) for this form of parking than if they bought two with access to a maneuvering road (50 thousand zlotys each).
Importantly, according to Konrad Pochocki, director general and top expert of the Polish Association of Developers, developers will be able to meet the parking space limit established by officials and, as a result, will be able to create smaller garages. The ministry of development and technology appears to wish to change this for the coming year, as an adjustment to the draft technical conditions will entail the construction of parking spots in the garage with direct access to the maneuvering road (access road).
Because of the tiny size of plots and the high cost of land, GetHome.pl emphasizes that developers, particularly in the largest cities, create underground garages. The issue is that such garages significantly raise the cost of construction. They say that they are not covered by buyer payments for parking spaces, which are not modest after all, according to the Polish Association of Developers. As a result, the difference is factored into apartment prices, implying that they are simply more expensive.