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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » September 17, 2008
The Real Estate Voice
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Warsaw Residential Market
September 17, 2008   
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The capital remains the largest market for developers in Poland, according to a recent report by the Research and Analysis Department of real estate services company Emmerson SA.

Emmerson analysts estimate that some 290 residential projects are under construction in Warsaw, with the largest number, 128 in total, in the Białołęka, Mokotów, Wilanów and Praga Południe districts. Rembertów and Wesoła are the least popular with developers. They account for under 1 percent of the total number of residential projects in the city.

The supply of luxury and high-standard apartments on the Warsaw residential market is steadily growing. Such projects account for 24 percent of all residential projects under way in the city. Most of the luxury apartment projects are in the very center of the city. The average price of a luxury apartment in Warsaw is zl.13,327 per square meter. But the most exclusive premium residences in the best downtown locations may cost up to zl.40,000 per square meter.

The lowest prices are in outlying districts such as Wesoła, Białołęka, Ursus, and Targówek. The average prices of new apartments in these districts are under zl.7,300 per square meter. For Warsaw as a whole, the average price for apartments, including luxury dwellings, is zl.9,500 per square meter. Without luxury apartments, the average is zl.8,400.

Apartment sales slowed in the second quarter of this year and developers were forced to launch more aggressive marketing campaigns. Most of them are now offering price discounts and free additional space for their clients, such as storage space in the basement or underground parking space. The largest developers on the Warsaw residential market are increasingly delivering apartments on a turnkey basis. In the past, they did so only in the case of luxury apartments, while buyers of ordinary dwellings had to finish them on their own.

Two-room apartments ranging from 40 to 59 sq m are the most popular in Warsaw, according to Emmerson. Less than 12 percent of the company's clients are interested in one-room apartments.

Housing on the west bank of the Vistula river, especially in the center and in areas well connected to other parts of the city, is far more popular with prospective buyers than dwellings in other neighborhoods, according to Emmerson. Clients are also interested in districts along the metro line.

The most attractive districts on the east bank of the Vistula are Praga Południe and Białołęka. One in 10 clients looking for an apartment in Warsaw considers these two locations.

The average payback period for apartments in Warsaw varies from one district to another. The figure, calculated from average apartment prices on the resale market and the average rents, shows how long a buyer will have to wait in order to recover funds invested in the purchase of an apartment in a specific district. Białołęka has the shortest payback period, at around 15.5 years. In Wola, Bemowo and Mokotów, the payback period is no longer than 17 years. In Wesoła and Wilanów, an apartment will take the longest to pay for itself, 21.4 and 20.2 years respectively, given the current level of prices and rents.
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