What course have housing developers taken in the pandemic reality?
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Which way is the new housing market heading? How does the pandemic affect sales? What sales assumptions have developers made for this year? The poll was conducted by the real estate website dompress.pl.
Andrzej Oślizło, President of Develia
The economic slowdown will certainly not remain without influence on the residential market. It is likely that some people, especially those working in the most affected sectors of the economy, will have to hold off on buying a flat. However, I expect demand to continue to be supported in 2021 by investment clients and buyers looking to protect their capital from inflation in the face of falling interest rates. In addition, it should be taken into account that the housing needs of Poles are still very high, which is confirmed by sales results for the second half of 2020. We assume that this year sales will remain at a similar level as last year. At the same time, we believe in the long-term growth of the residential segment.
Zbigniew Juroszek, CEO of Atal
The real estate market, as well as buyers’ preferences are constantly changing. In 2021 we can expect a continuation of the trend of buying real estate for investment purposes, as protection of capital against inflation. On the other hand, among customers interested in purchasing real estate for their own residential purposes, spacious flats with a larger area are becoming increasingly popular.
Recently, we have also been building more and more high-rise residential buildings, which is not yet popular in Poland. We are also trying to support sustainable urban development, e.g. by adapting post-industrial buildings to new functions and developing post-production and wasteland.
Despite the uncertain environment, demand for housing is still at a very high level. We maintain our current targets, focusing on the highest quality of the investments we make. We are also focused on maintaining the continuity of all ongoing development projects. As for sales, our plans for this year are to maintain contracting at the 2020 level.
Zuzanna Należyta, Commercial Director at Eco Classic
In 2021, the trends that emerged in the second half of 2020 will still be visible. Customers have slightly modified their shopping preferences. Additional space such as a balcony or garden has gained in importance. Some customers have changed their assumptions regarding the size of the flat they are looking for, as having a place to work remotely has become more important. Location preferences have also changed for the same reason. It turned out that access to the office is no longer so important. There were also many clients who were looking for a way to save the value of their funds. Compared to other alternative ways of earning or saving, real estate is still a safe and secure investment of capital. Especially that the current level of inflation and interest rates on deposits mean that keeping funds in the bank means a real loss of their value. The same applies to the purchase of bonds, while investing in shares or funds is burdened with greater than usual risk.
All this allows us to assume a further increase in residential prices by a few percent in 2021, all the more so as nothing indicates significant changes in the supply of new investments.
Cezary Grabowski, Sales and Marketing Director at Bouygues Immobilier Polska
We predict that the level of sales will remain high. Demand will be high, both from people looking for flats to live in and from investors who treat flats as a safe and profitable method of capital investment. Decisions are facilitated by remote methods of selecting and purchasing a flat and, in the case of investors, by, among others, low-interest bank deposits and the feeling of security and a high chance of profit provided by a stable property market. In 2021 we will continue to sell flats in Warsaw, Poznań and Wrocław, and we also plan to launch sales in the Tri-City.
We anticipate that interest in flats with balconies, terraces and gardens will continue to grow. We are noticing a new trend: clients need larger and larger flats of a given type. Hence, in the Pespective estate – Urban Villas in Wrocław we are preparing two-room flats larger than 40 sqm and three-room ones larger than 60 sqm.
Joanna Chojecka, sales and marketing director for Warsaw and Wrocław at Robyg SA.
In the residential real estate sector, we assume an increase in investment demand for 2021, especially since WIBOR is at a record low, which may encourage people to invest in real estate. Investing capital in real estate currently gives much higher rates of return than bank deposits or the capital market. A certain excess of cash on the market will be redirected to investments in flats, also by foreigners. Micro-apartments will be increasingly perceived by clients as a good investment. Small sizes and promotional prices of apartments allow for a wide range of choices. An advanced package of additional services such as reception, concierge, security, electronic locks, office area, laundry, drying room and fitness is also convincing to purchase. Such an investment is even more profitable when using the option of VAT deduction.
Małgorzata Ostrowska, Director of Marketing and Sales Division in J.W. Construction Holding S.A.
Undoubtedly, new, restrictive norms regarding energy efficiency of the investments to be made will force the investors to take care of higher energy efficiency of the buildings. Many experts predict that this may cause an increase in construction costs even by a dozen or so percent.
If interest rates remain low, the trend of buying flats for rent will continue. Not only by private individuals. For at least a year, the market has seen a lot of activity from foreign funds interested in buying a larger pool of flats in emerging properties designed for institutional rental. These properties will have to be distinguished by their good location, standard of workmanship, aesthetics and well-thought-out flat structure. Common areas will need to be attractively planned, with restaurants and small service units such as a gym, spa etc. They will have to be professionally managed, which for many investors will be a completely new responsibility.
For us, both the energy efficiency aspect and the implementation of premium projects is not a challenge. We have a lot of experience in these areas. Also in managing apartments for rent. I must emphasise that, bearing in mind how important it is for each of us to have our own home and to invest our individual financial surpluses in housing, although we do not exclude cooperation with funds, individual customers remain our most important partners. Examples include the aparthotel Varsovia Apartamenty or Apartamenty Jerozolimskie Invest. In 2021 we plan to launch new investments in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Chorzów and Łódź.
Bartosz Kuźniar, CEO of Lokum Deweloper S.A.
In 2021, it is still difficult to predict the development of the situation related to the pandemic. A reaction to the negative effects of the epidemic may be both greater consumer frugality and extending the time of making purchase decisions or even speeding them up to protect the value of the funds held.
Clients pay more and more attention to the quality of the surrounding space, well thought-out design solutions, attractively arranged common areas and areas around investments. They are interested in units of larger size, with gardens or larger balconies, as well as with rooms enabling the arrangement of a place to work and study from home, or a relaxation and physical activity zone.
In response to the reduction in interest rates, we have noticed an increase in purchases of properties for investment purposes. Premises of a higher standard, located in prestigious locations do not lose their value and are perceived as a safe form of investing funds.
At the end of 2020 we had nearly 1,000 units on offer in Wroclaw and Krakow investments. We are successively introducing new projects for sale in order to maintain an attractive offer of flats. This year, we plan to sell 1,000 units.
Monika Perekitko, Member of Matexi Polska Management Board
We expect a stable situation on the housing market, we do not foresee a drastic downturn. We anticipate a drop in the number of units put on sale mainly due to difficulties in obtaining building permits. However, we assume that the market will favour developers delivering a good product and diversified, well-thought-out projects located in large cities.
Janusz Miller, Sales and Marketing Director of Home Invest
We very much hope that the pandemic situation will end quickly. We forecast that despite the economic slowdown, the housing market will continue to develop this year. Demand for housing will remain high as customers continue to seek safe forms of investment and capital protection. In 2021, we plan to introduce several new investments in Warsaw. Consequently, we hope to be able to increase our sales result compared to 2020.
Sebastian Barandziak, CEO of Dekpol Deweloper
Developers carefully verify the projects they plan to put on sale in 2021 and in the following years. Due to changes in customer preferences, many companies have started analysing land for the construction of single-family houses, segments that are designed for families of several people. For the current year, we have assumed optimistic sales plans, which result, among other things, from new projects introduced for sale with a well-thought-out structure, architecture and facilities for residents.
Tomasz Czubak, Development Projects Director at Jakon
I think that the residential market will continue to be in good shape. Projects in good locations will enjoy popularity, which we can see on the example of our top investment in Poznań at Lwowska Street. We are observing trends among our customers and adjusting our offer to them. In the Kórnicka investment in Poznań, we gave our customers the Residents’ Club, which turned out to be a great success.
I think that the economic slowdown will only partially influence purchasing decisions. It is certainly more difficult to get a credit to buy a flat, and on the other hand, the segment of flats for rent is developing constantly.
For 2021, our company has assumed an increase in sales compared to 2020. We plan to perform a similar sales volume as in 2019. We are launching several new investments for sale, including in Poznań, Świnoujście, Warsaw, Wrocław and Bydgoszcz.
Edyta Kołodziej, sales and marketing director at Nickel Development
For many years we have been observing that there are fewer and fewer plots for sale in Poznań and therefore developers are eager to build in the suburbs. In the coming years, we forecast further sprawl of the city outside its borders. This trend also coincides with the expectations of a large group of customers for whom distance and a certain kind of isolation are important. A house or a terraced house near Poznań gives them more freedom and independence and the proximity of nature provides a kind of relaxation which is more difficult to reach for city dwellers.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been seeing more enquiries for 3-4 room flats and this year will probably be no different. This is because some people assume that the system of remote work will stay with us for longer and they want to have enough space to carry it out. We continue to observe great interest in the second home market. Having even a small flat in an attractive tourist location is a guarantee of rest and independence.
Agata Zambrzycka, Sales and Marketing Director at Aria Development
First of all, we hope to avoid further lockdowns. In January this year we observed a slight slowdown. It seems that another small reduction in the reference interest rate can sustain demand on the primary market. In 2021, we would like to achieve sales at a similar level to last year. We assume that we will finalise the sale of Osiedle Łomianki by December. We are also planning to complete the sale of flats in the first phase of the New Natura Estate and to launch the next phase of the project. We are also working on several large projects, which will probably be launched at the end of this year.
Sylwester Śniadecki, President of the Management Board of Śniadecki Development and Śniadecki Investment Group
2021 will be a time when customers will increasingly often look for flats or houses with a larger area or comfortably planned space. The events of the past year have made our M’s become not only an asylum where we relax and spend time with our loved ones. They are now also workplaces and schools. The possibility of creating zones dedicated to the various needs of homebuyers has proved invaluable, which is why we have been observing greater interest in projects with areas exceeding 60 sqm for over six months now.
Our goal for 2021 is to deliver 60 units, which is half as many as in 2020. This proves that we assume a positive scenario and we do not expect the economic slowdown to have a negative impact on sales indicators, also in terms of the entire market.
Mariola Żak, Sales and Marketing Director of Aurec Home
Recent months have shown that despite the uncertain environment, the demand for flats is still relatively high. In addition, low interest rates encourage people to invest in real estate, which is now perceived not only as an additional source of income, but also as an excellent way to protect capital against rising inflation.
We are beginning construction of the second stage of the Miasteczko Jutrzenki estate in Warsaw’s Włochy, where we offer a total of 140 flats. The estate is very popular and most of the flats in the first stage are already sold out. Soon, we will start a very interesting project in Ursus. On a 2.5 ha plot at Dyrekcyjna street in Warsaw we are planning to build about 800 flats, as well as retail, catering and service premises.