Housing vouchers through the eyes of developers
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Is the housing voucher, which is supposed to help apartment buyers cover their own contribution to the loan in the form of subsidies or guarantees, a good idea according to developers? Will the new government initiative turn out to be supportive for buyers? The survey is presented by the real estate website dompress.pl.
Andrzej Oślizło, President of Develia
Every housing support programme in Poland is welcome, as in terms of housing conditions we are unfortunately still lagging behind in Europe with the ratio of approximately 383 apartments per 1,000 people compared to over 500 in Western countries.
At the moment, the details of the so-called housing voucher are not known, so it is difficult to assess how it would affect the market. Undoubtedly, previous programmes, such as Rodzina na Swoim (Family on its own), under which the state subsidised loan instalments for eight years, or Mieszkanie dla Młodych (Apartment for the Young), under which the state subsidised the purchase of an apartment from 10 to 30 percent of its value, enjoyed great interest. Certainly, a direct subsidy to the own contribution would be a real support for people buying an apartment on credit, especially the young purchasing their first apartment.
It should be noted, however, that in addition to building purchasing capacity through various subsidies, actions aimed at improving the situation on the supply side, e.g. accelerating administrative procedures, are also important. The residential offer in the largest Polish cities is very limited. For example, in Warsaw at the end of Q4 2020, there were less than 14 thousand units compared to 19 thousand in Q4 2018. It is worth noting here that the situation does not look like it is going to improve due to the decline in the number of GNPs issued for the largest cities for the last 6 years.
Cezary Grabowski, sales and marketing director at Bouygues Immobilier Polska
In general, this idea should be assessed as good. Any form of state aid for purchasing an apartment is a move in the right direction. Assistance is particularly needed by young people who intend to buy an apartment for the first time in their lives. They expect support from the state and are willing to use it, which was evident when two government programmes were in force: Housing for the Young and A Family on Its Own.
Małgorzata Ostrowska, Director of the Marketing and Sales Division at J.W. Construction Holding S.A.
2018 marked the end of the Mieszkanie dla Młodych (Apartment for the Young) programme, which consists in granting subsidies for apartments purchased on credit to persons meeting certain conditions. Such programs as MdM or Rodzina na Swoim have had an impact on the housing market in Poland, increasing demand. At the same time, they were a great support for less affluent people who wanted to realize their dreams of their own home. I have no doubt that the new housing support program proposed by the Ministry of Development, which would support people purchasing real estate on credit, can be a great help to them. Especially that the amount of own contribution is a big barrier, especially for young people.
Monika Perekitko, Member of Matexi Polska Management Board
In our opinion this is a move in the right direction. Many buyers, especially young families who need new, often larger premises, have problems with making their own contribution to a new apartment. I think that vouchers or a state guarantee program for families and young buyers would be an important support in making the decision to buy a new apartment.
Joanna Chojecka, Sales and Marketing Director for Warsaw and Wrocław at Robyg SA.
Assistance for home buyers, especially young people, is always very important. Any program that makes it easier for Poles to obtain funds for their own contribution increases their chances of getting a loan and buying their own apartment. Our long-term experience, based on earlier, similar programs, shows that such government support should be systematically planned and implemented. We hope that the assumptions of the new program will make it accessible to many Poles.
Boaz Haim, President of Ronson Development
We welcome all solutions aimed at supporting and developing housing in Poland. Especially if they are systemic and long-term in nature. The proposed housing voucher, addressed to large families among others, will increase their ability to purchase real estate, and thus will have a positive impact on demand.
This is important news for us because we focus our attention mainly on families. We design our investments so that they meet the criteria which guide them in their purchasing choices. Therefore we create self-sufficient investments with service and commercial base, in the vicinity of educational facilities, well-communicated with the city center and at the same time close to green areas.
Mariola Żak, Marketing and Sales Director of Aurec Home
Buying your own apartment is a very big effort for every household. Currently in Poland, there are no programmes supporting people who do not have the money for their own contribution to a credit, contribution to a housing cooperative or participation in social housing. For the time being, it is not yet known whether the new programme will be based on the criterion of age or having a family, although it seems very likely. In my opinion any solution, regardless of the buyer’s age, but conditioned by the material situation, will help a lot to many families. There are still not enough apartments in Poland and everything should be done to increase this number. However, it would be good if the housing programmes supporting the purchase of an own home lasted longer than the term of one government. There have already been various programmes which after 2-3 years turned out not to meet the expectations of Poles. The most important thing is that the program is good and long-term.
Zuzanna Należyta, Commercial Director at Eco Classic
All forms of subsidies and assistance in acquiring own apartments are a good idea. Many of our customers have benefited from the programs “Rodzina na Swoim” and “Mieszkanie dla Młodych”. Some young people have sufficient income to cover the costs of renting, but have no creditworthiness. Subsidies for those who do not have other housing or those with insufficient creditworthiness will definitely have a positive impact on the market.
However, it is extremely important to verify whether these persons do not already own an apartment or what financial possibilities they have. The lack of income or housing criteria may support the purchase of apartments for investment purposes and, consequently, contribute to further price increases.
Janusz Miller, Sales and Marketing Director, Home Invest
Any form of support for home buyers is good because it allows a wider group of people to buy their own apartment. Currently, many of them cannot afford to accumulate their own contribution, which makes it impossible to obtain a mortgage. It should also be taken into account that most banks still require at least 20 percent of own contribution, which requires saving tens of thousands of zlotys. The introduction of the housing voucher will contribute to further development of the housing market in Poland.
Edyta Kołodziej, Sales and Marketing Director at Nickel Development
In my opinion, the fact that the government expresses its intention to face up to housing problems should already be evaluated positively. One should be aware that, according to various sources, the housing deficit in Poland is estimated at between 600,000 and over 2 million units. However, it is difficult to give an unequivocal assessment of the housing voucher solution itself, taking into account the currently available information. We are observing this issue and we hope that soon more data will be made public. We are interested, of course, in the criteria for the units themselves and who will be the beneficiaries of this tool. Apart from that, it is important to know how investors will be able to settle the vouchers.
Wojciech Chotkowski, President of the Management Board of Aria Development
Every initiative which aims at supporting the housing market is good. There is still not enough housing in Poland and it is worth developing such projects, which should be a long-term programme, regardless of political changes. The voucher should primarily support young people who are just planning to start a family. Unfortunately, we fear that this form of assistance will be either very modest or subject to additional conditions.
Tomasz Czubak, Development Projects Director at Jakon
Every initiative supporting young people is welcome. Young people starting their professional lives have problems with raising funds for their own contribution and for finishing their apartments. Housing voucher can help them to get their own apartment. At this moment we do not know more details, so it is hard to judge the whole program.
Sebastian Barandziak, CEO of Dekpol Deweloper
Every form of government support for Poles is positively perceived by us. It helps people to buy an apartment who could not afford it without this support. Thanks to the new form of government support, the market should open up more widely also to new groups of customers.
Adrian Potoczek, Sales and Marketing Director at Wawel Service
It is difficult to assess the issue of the housing voucher at this point in time because the precise conditions of who can apply for it have not yet been specified. I believe that it was a mistake to close a programme which was working very well. I am talking here about the earlier MDM program – Housing for the Young, which the government introduced to support the housing market. It was an ideal solution for young people who wanted to start their adult life and buy their first apartment. When it comes to the government’s new proposal, we have too little information about it.