Who buys flats in a pandemic?
Ten post dostępny jest także w języku: polski
Has the structure of home buyers and the profile of developers’ customers changed? Which group of buyers now dominates? Who decides to buy? The poll was conducted by the real estate website dompress.pl.
Andrzej Oślizło, president of Develia
In January we recorded twice as many contacts from clients compared to December 2020, which was still very good considering the Christmas and New Year period. Demand is high from clients who want to protect their capital from inflation and invest their savings in the property market. However, a large group of clients are also those who are buying a flat for themselves. We are seeing a return to the sales offices of people who were holding off on buying a flat because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. This part of the buyers were watching the market and waiting for the situation to develop and for the banks to relax their lending policy and perhaps for prices to fall. However, the property market proved to be stable even in the face of the pandemic. Demand for flats in some local markets exceeds supply, so at the moment there is no space for prices to fall, quite the opposite.
Angelika Kliś, board member of Atal S.A.
The high, natural demand for flats is the result of a shortage of flats. Invariably for years we have been dealing with very large and largely unsatisfied housing needs in Poland. Investment purchases are responsible for a significant part of demand on the Polish market. Still, the majority of purchasers are individual clients who buy flats for their own use. Despite the pandemic, the structure of buyers and the profile of clients have not changed. A large group are people looking for their first flat. These are mainly young people interested in compact units of small size. Another large group of customers is made up of those looking for a more spacious unit which meets specific requirements in a higher standard housing estate.
Cezary Grabowski, Sales and Marketing Director at Bouygues Immobilier Polska
We have not noticed any changes in the customer profile. In the case of our projects, we invariably observe the same phenomena. Most small flats are bought by investors, while larger flats are purchased by people looking for a new place to live. For both groups, location is still the most important factor, but recently, also as a result of the pandemic, common parts, ecological and well-being elements, balconies, terraces and gardens have been increasingly appreciated. Buyers are also paying more attention to the reputation and reliability of the developer. Contrary to initial fears, the pandemic has not had a negative impact on demand in the developer market, which, after a momentary hesitation, is quickly recovering.
Sebastian Barandziak, President of Dekpol Deweloper
The pandemic has certainly increased the need to own a flat. We now spend much more time at home, where it has become necessary to set aside space, both for relaxation, as well as for study and remote work. Therefore, the demand for new premises remains high. Customers are also interested in buying the so-called second home in an attractive tourist location, which they could use for their own needs and for rent. Such needs are satisfied by our prestigious Sol Marina project located in one of the most attractive locations in Gdańsk, near Wyspa Sobieszewska. We also see an increase in the number of clients buying apartments for investment purposes. This is probably a result of the current situation, which forces people to invest their savings in real estate, which is considered to be a safe haven for capital.
Tomasz Czubak, Development Projects Director at Jakon
I think that the structure of flat buyers has not changed much. Apart from investors who invest capital in real estate, our customers are still people who want to satisfy their own housing needs. There is a growing group of foreigners, which may indicate a desire to settle permanently in our country. There are also clients who want to improve their living comfort by purchasing units of larger size with spacious terraces. Many such customers have purchased our flats on Lwowska Street in Poznań with a beautiful view of Lake Malta.
Joanna Chojecka, sales and marketing director for Warsaw and Wrocław at Robyg SA.
The structure of purchasers has not changed significantly, but we observe new preferences and requirements of clients, which were influenced by the pandemic. Buyers are looking for flexibly designed and comfortable flats, where they will be able to combine everyday life with remote work. They are more willing to choose units with balconies or terraces, which every flat has. As far as buyers are concerned, the share of clients buying flats for investment purposes and those buying for cash is slightly increasing. More and more often we note interest from Poles living abroad or foreigners living and working in Poland.
Zuzanna Należyta, Commercial Director at Eco Classic
The leading group of buyers are those who decide to purchase in order to protect their capital.
Buyers who purchase flats for their own needs are mainly those looking for more space. However, we notice that there are slightly fewer people buying flats for their own needs than before the pandemic.
Janusz Miller, Sales and Marketing Director at Home Invest
We are currently observing very high interest in the purchase of flats in our investments. The pandemic has particularly increased the group of investment customers buying with cash, who want to protect their capital against inflation and withdraw funds from deposits to buy property. There is also still no shortage of customers who are looking for flats for themselves and finance the purchase with a loan. Credit is cheap thanks to low interest rates, so there are many takers.
Karolina Guzik, Sales Manager at the housing company Skanska
We don’t notice that the pandemic has significantly affected the structure of buyers. Our flats invariably enjoy great interest from various groups of clients. On the one hand, these are people who are buying second flats or changing their current ones for bigger, better, more comfortable ones. On the other hand, they are investment clients, who are perfectly aware that purchasing a flat is a safe and secure form of investing capital.
On the other hand, the pandemic has actually influenced certain customer preferences. Flats with their own garden or large balconies are more popular. Buyers are looking for flats in investments that have their own recreational areas – parks, squares and beautiful, well-kept greenery. Why? They simply want to live in estates that enable them to have contact with nature and relax in the fresh air in close proximity to their homes. We also observe that customers are increasingly interested in flats in quiet surroundings, so that they can escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Bogdan Borkowski, President of the Management Board of Waryński S.A. Holding Group
About 60 per cent of buyers are clients looking for a flat of a larger size with additional space for remote work. These are mainly people aged 30-40. If they are young parents, good location, proximity to parks, kindergartens, schools, shops and city stops is important when choosing a flat.
Some customers are people who invest capital in real estate, whether it is a commercial or residential property. They purchase real estate for long-term rental, but also, for example, for their children who study. This group accounts for as much as 35 percent of all transactions.
We have not noticed any changes in the structure of clients. Rather, we see slight but significant changes in the requirements for premises precisely because of the pandemic.
Adrian Potoczek, Sales and Marketing Director at Wawel Service
The pandemic has not changed the profile of our client, it is still the same. We have observed a group of investors who want to invest their money in real estate. However, flats are now bought mainly by young couples aged 25-34 who are looking for their first home. Also families with children choosing flats of over 60 sqm and people for whom bigger space is important in excellent locations in Kraków, who decide on flats of over 75 sqm. The customer profile has been quite similar for years, but over time the dominant groups have become noticeable.
Agata Zambrzycka, Sales and Marketing Director at Aria Development
We have recently observed a change in the structure of buyers. Most people still buy for their own residential purposes, but the percentage of investment clients who want to invest cash in the real estate market has increased.
Edyta Kołodziej, Sales and Marketing Director at Nickel Development
Indeed, we observe in the structure of purchasers a constantly increasing share of people treating the purchase of real estate as protection of capital against loss of value. The second clearly visible group are young families buying a flat for their own use. A tendency to seek larger areas than in previous years and a growing interest in locations in the suburbs can be observed. Not without significance in this context is the continuing popularity of ground floor flats with gardens, which are not to be found in urban developments. We can clearly see this on the example of our Osiedle Księżnej Dąbrówki in the western suburbs of Poznań.
While changes in the structure of purchasers are visible, the profiles of buyers remain the same. As far as our clients are concerned, we do not observe any new groups with different characteristics than before.
Mariola Żak, marketing and sales director at Aurec Home
Among our clients there are those for whom buying a flat is an investment, but a large group are those looking for their first home for themselves or their family. These customers have stable sources of financing and an own contribution at the level required by banks. However, the current, rather strict criteria for assessing creditworthiness translate into their purchasing power. Therefore we observe that the most sought-after are two-room flats up to 40 sqm, but also three-room flats up to slightly more than 60 sqm. Buyers in Warsaw’s Miasteczko Jutrzenki appreciate the well thought-out layout of the storage space and the interesting separation of the night space from the day space.
Małgorzata Ostrowska, Director of Marketing and Sales Division in J.W. Construction Holding S.A.
Invariably, there are cash buyers among our clients, but this is not related to the pandemic, but only to low interest rates and inflation. Covid-19 has had an impact on the preference for unit area. Larger flats, where a room can be set aside for remote working or study, are very popular. Most customers pay attention to whether the unit is with a spacious balcony, terrace or garden.
Many experts predicted that the pandemic would affect the need or necessity to isolate oneself from people, to have intensive contact with nature, greenery, to live away from the city, that some people would shift their interest from flats to houses and plots. Indeed, in the last few months we have observed increased interest in the houses we are building in the Villa Campina suburban development close to the Kampinos Forest. They are bought not only by families with small children, but also by people who are looking for accommodation for the autumn of their lives. We predict that this trend will continue next year.