Will the change in building regulations affect housing prices?
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To what extent will the new regulations on thermal protection of buildings affect the cost of investment? Will the change in building standards translate into higher housing prices? The poll was conducted by the real estate website dompress.pl.
Andrzej Oślizło, president of Develia
The new regulations of the construction law are connected, among others, with decreasing the demand of buildings for non-renewable energy or applying “warmer” windows in investments and require investors to meet stricter technical conditions. The additional requirements will translate into an increase in the costs of investment implementation and, consequently, an increase in the prices of flats in new projects. However, it should be borne in mind that energy-efficient buildings in which modern ecological solutions are used, e.g. photovoltaic panels or estates with solar lamps, ultimately mean lower electricity bills, i.e. measurable savings for the residents.
Mateusz Bromboszcz, Vice-President of the Management Board for Legal and Administrative Affairs at Atal
New regulations related to energy savings and thermal insulation are associated with a number of challenges for the development industry, among others they bring the need to take into account additional solutions and power sources. Thus, the entry into force of new regulations governing the energy performance of buildings has a direct impact on the increase in the cost of running an investment, which results from the necessity to use additional technical equipment and greater demand for construction materials.
It is still difficult to forecast exactly what these increases will be and whether they will translate into higher housing prices. Nevertheless, the rising costs of investment management, resulting, among other things, from higher prices of construction materials and workmanship, weigh on the construction industry. It is worth noting, however, that so far the rising investment costs in our case have not had such a tangible impact on housing prices as in the case of our competitors. This is due to our unique business model, which minimises the involvement of intermediaries and relies, among other things, on our own general contractorship. Thanks to this, we can to a large extent compensate the growing costs of investments and invariably offer flats at attractive prices.
Sebastian Barandziak, President of Dekpol Deweloper
Amendments to the technical conditions are made systematically every few years due to the technological development in the construction industry. At the same time, the changes concerning the increase in energy efficiency of buildings are known well in advance and developers adapt to them on an ongoing basis. This is a long-term process, which results in higher investment costs and a gradual increase in housing prices. The higher requirements in force since the beginning of this year are usually already included in the projects being implemented. However, we must slowly prepare for further changes, which will lead to the following becoming standard: electricity production systems – photovoltaic installation, ventilation systems with heat recovery, heat pumps in hybrid system with conventional heating systems, low-temperature heating systems, i.e. floor or wall heating. The price of producing flats may increase, depending on the standard and equipment as well as the applied solutions, from PLN 200 – 300 net to PLN 600 net/sqm of flat area. The rates will also depend on external factors, such as the price of electricity, fuel, taxes, etc., as well as increases in the price of materials. This will certainly translate into further increases in housing prices.
Zuzanna Należyta, Commercial Director at Eco Classic
These types of changes in regulations are introduced from time to time and are a response to the progress of civilisation. These changes are not too costly if the developer is committed to quality and adherence to standards. New regulations are often only a confirmation of what has already been used in practice for a long time.
A much greater threat, however, are the planned changes to the Act on Developers, which will significantly increase the cost of implementing developer investments, and thus the prices of flats.
Janusz Miller, Sales and Marketing Director, Home Invest
Any change in regulations, bringing with it additional obligations on the part of the developer with regard to the investments carried out, will certainly translate into higher housing prices. Increased costs of project implementation will result in increased offer prices.
Tomasz Czubak, Director of Development Project Preparation at Jakon
Changes in the construction law will certainly affect the cost of investment implementation. The adopted heat transfer coefficient for windows and walls is very restrictive. Compared to other European countries, Poland has definitely set the bar the highest in this aspect. These changes will translate into changes in residential prices, which will be visible in the second half of the year. The estimated increase is 2-3 percent compared to current prices.
Marcin Żurek, director of investment department at Nickel Development
The new building regulations will undoubtedly have an impact on increasing the costs of investment implementation. A significant increase in thermal parameters for building partitions and the requirement to use part of the primary energy result from the pro-ecological attitude of the European Parliament, which has amended the directive on the energy performance of buildings.
Newly constructed or modernised buildings in EU Member States should achieve zero-energy status with a very clear direction towards minimising primary energy. In practice, this means that all building permits obtained from 2021 onwards will have to meet the new technical conditions. For example, heat transfer coefficients as recently as 2017 were 0.23 W/m2K for external walls and today it is 0.2 W/m2K. For window joinery it was 1.1 W/m2K and today it is 0.9 W/m2K. Such data clearly indicate that we need to look for new solutions for external walls by using materials which are much more expensive than traditional polystyrene. These may include polyurethanes, phenols, etc. This is necessary to maintain optimum partition thicknesses, given that conscious developers respect every square metre of living space.
For primary energy, the directives have also tightened the parameters. In 2014, the Ep indicator was 120kWh/(m2/year), while today it cannot exceed 70kWh/(m2/year). Consequently, it will be necessary to use very modern boilers, equip buildings with heat pumps, recuperation or photovoltaics.
As a result, the cost of all these innovations, with rising material and fuel prices, will unfortunately have to be borne by the customer. Investment budgets of conscious and responsible developers unfortunately do not have the space to compensate for these costs.
Joanna Chojecka, sales and marketing director for Warsaw and Wrocław at Robyg SA.
The buildings we offer have met the current requirements for thermal protection for a long time. And we even offered and still offer more, for example the Smart House system at no extra charge. Moreover, we have very attractive finishing options: specially sealed windows, roller blinds, etc. So we assume that the new regulations will not affect the prices of our flats, but they may have a much greater impact on the increase in property prices on the market.
Jarosław Kozak, Vice-President of the Management Board of Waryński S.A. Holding Group
Changes in the thermal resistance of building partitions will undoubtedly translate into an increase of investment implementation costs, especially residential ones. We estimate that raising the parameters for openings and walls will increase the costs of execution by about 3-5 per cent, which will inevitably result in raising the sales prices of flats. It should be remembered, however, that higher thermal resistance parameters of partitions translate into lower demand for thermal energy, and thus into lower operating costs.
Adrian Potoczek, Sales and Marketing Director at Wawel Service
Changes in regulations caused an increase in investment costs, and thus an increase in housing prices. The advantage of the new regulations is the improvement in the insulation of building partitions and window and door joinery, as well as the use of energy for heating and ventilation of the building.
Małgorzata Ostrowska, Director of Marketing and Sales Division in J.W. Construction Holding S.A.
Many experts predict that the obligation to comply with new restrictive energy efficiency standards introduced from the beginning of 2021 will make investors incur higher construction costs by as much as several percent. This will undoubtedly increase housing prices. Rises caused by this change should rather be expected next year, as investments which obtained building permits according to the old regulations are currently being and will be continued. Nevertheless, flats will still be an attractive investment, not only because of low interest rates. For many years we have been using standards promoting energy-efficient and low-emission construction in our investments, so adapting buildings to the new standards will not be a challenge for us.
We are currently implementing a project to build energy-efficient and ecological wooden houses at the price of standard houses, which we produce in our factory and erect in the Villa Campina suburban housing estate near the Kampinos Forest, and also offer them to clients who have their own plots. Thanks to underfloor heating and a heat pump, they are more energy-efficient than standard ones. In the case of houses built in timber-frame technology, new standards do not translate into their price, and low operating costs are undoubtedly an additional advantage.