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According to the report of Expender and Rentier.io, apartment prices in 11 cities are 10% higher than last year. The highest price increases were recorded in Sosnowiec (31% year on year) and Gdynia (20% year on year).
Despite the increase in prices, apartment sale offers are rapidly disappearing from the market. This is probably due to the low loan interest rates and the good situation on the labor market. According to the Central Statistical Office, the average wage in August this year increased by 9.5% year on year.
The housing market has not come to halt typical of the holiday period. The highest rates in history were recorded in as many as 9 cities, including places like Warsaw, where the median prices reached nearly PLN 12,000/m2, as well as Rzeszow and Gdynia, where prices since January have increased by 14% and 13%, respectively. In Gdansk, however, the median broke PLN 10,000/m2 in March, fell in the coming months, then rose again in August and exceeded the March amount, reaching a new record – PLN 10,556/m2.
However, the situation is not the same in every city. In Katowice, in June, a record level of PLN 7,000/m2 was achieved, but since then the median has dropped by 4% and returned to the value from the beginning of the year. A similar situation played out in Bialystok, but the decrease compared to June was less than 2%. However, among all the analyzed cities, there is none where prices have not increased over the last year.
The number of advertisements also indicates a high demand for housing – portals recorded over 96,000 active listings in August, which is the second lowest result this year. Contrary to what might be expected, the reason for this result was not a small number of advertisements, (the number of which was as high as in the previous months of this year – more than 32,000), but rather the speed at which the advertisements gained buyers.
The demand for housing can be attributed to two factors – record low interest rates and a good situation on the labor market. The unemployment rate in July was only 5.8%, and wages are also increasing. Low interest rates and high inflation also encourage investors to buy, hoping to make a profit.
The enthusiasm is dwindling
However, there are signals suggesting that the market boom is slowly slowing down. The number of applications for mortgage loans decreased – according to BIK, in July and August there were 43,000 and 42,000 applications, respectively. While this is still a high number, it is smaller than the figure for the data acquired in spring. In April, it amounted to almost 51,000.
The new rules for calculating creditworthiness resulting from Recommendation S, and the rising interest rates on mortgage loans, may also prove to be a factor inhibiting the boom in the housing market. Recently, the WIBOR 3M rate, which dictates the interest rate on most mortgage loans, has increased, and some banks have increased margins on floating-rate and fixed-rate loans. Although credits are still cheaper than before the pandemic, there will be a slow return to those values.
The good news, however, is that in the near future loan applications will be processed at a faster pace: in the previous months, this process took an average of two months, but thanks to the actions taken by banks, this process should be shortened to a month in the near future.