The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » Monthly - July 30, 2008
Luxury Apartments
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Luxury Flat Anyone?
The Polish luxury real estate market is still in its infancy. While developers are offering more large and prestigious apartments these days, these premises do not always feature high-standard finish or quality building materials.

Many of those who invested in luxury apartments in Poland a few years ago are now finding that their properties are no longer considered to be premium residences-especially when they try to sell them at a profit.

To secure high prices for their projects, developers are increasingly tempting buyers with sweeteners such as a convenient location in an elegant district, good transport links to the city center, excellent architecture, and state-of-the-art technology, plus a beautiful view and 24-hour security.

The same is true of another market segment-lofts. The driving force behind new loft projects in Polish cities has been a desire to renew and revive old neighborhoods, increase a property's value and, primarily, to improve one's standard of living.

Locations previously serving as factories and warehouses are now increasingly used as homes. They are also an attractive investment. Some people are ready to pay through the nose for a stylish apartment in an old abandoned warehouse, especially if it has old bricks and pipes showing through the walls.

After buying an industrial building you have to adapt it for residential purposes. The main problem is to preserve the spirit and atmosphere of the building, reflected in its high ceilings, open spaces, structural details and large windows.

Interest in this type of accommodation is so huge that new buildings with modern loft-style apartments are being designed from scratch. One such project is under construction in Warsaw's Mokotów district on Woronicza/Racjonalizacji streets. It features a number of split-level apartments that offer lots of space.

As long as the supply of high-standard apartments is insufficient and demand runs high, the prices of these properties are bound to grow. As Poles become wealthier, more people dream of owning a unique apartment. Many can afford to pay up to zl.20,000 per sq m for prestigious apartments.

Even though many people are looking for luxury apartments, not many such projects are in progress. Given the demand, their number is expected to grow in the future, yet it will be a long time before supply meets demand in this market segment.

Buying a luxury apartment or a loft is an excellent investment now that the Polish premium-residence market is still at a formative stage. Buyers cannot expect a quick return, though, because luxury homes are harder to sell than standard apartments, and they usually require major outlays on renovation and maintenance.

Paweł Wilkowicz