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Astounded by the poor value of residential property here in Wroclaw


InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
31 Jan 2013 #1
Went to view (secondary market) flats to buy and flats to rent, here in Wrocław. This is not the first time, I have been searching for a rental for a while. What I found was probably worse value than I observed back in the autumn when I nearly rented something new, but had problems with the agreement.

Absolutely stunned by the poor value. Pokey 2-room (1-bed) flats, 1300zł a month plus service charges of about 500zł plus metered energy (and in some, metered water too).

I can rent larger flats (ie 2-bed) in some major UK cities for not much more than the price of a similar flat in Wroc. In some Hertfordshire towns (near London), with a good commuters' rail line back to London, I can pay pretty much the same. The only extra would be the council tax.

As for prospective purchases, I have to ask myself why I'd spend the same amount here for a flat as I could, say, in Chelmsford (near London) where again I have a direct rail link to the city of London and other job hotspots.

It's simply bizarre, based on Poles' wages, that these prices are demanded.
zetigrek
31 Jan 2013 #2
I can rent larger flats (ie 2-bed) in some major UK cities for not much more than the price of a similar flat in Wroc. In some Hertfordshire towns (near London), with a good commuters' rail line back to London, I can pay pretty much the same. The only extra would be the council tax.

Are you sure? The payments are monthly not weekly.
milky 13 | 1,657
31 Jan 2013 #3
Absolutely stunned by the poor value. Pokey 2-room (1-bed) flats, 1300zł a month plus service charges of about 500zł plus metered energy

That's why there are millions of Poles living abroad.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
31 Jan 2013 #4
I never thought I'd say this -- some parts of Britain look like good value by comparison! I can get a 3-room (2-bed) for not much more than here in Wroc in the East Midlands and some parts of Essex and Herts!!!

Are you sure? The payments are monthly not weekly.

Maybe I'm tired, but I can't see why you think I said weekly. 1300zł plus monthly admin/service charges of 500zł here, seems to be the average. Occasionally, the monthly service charge is 400 or 350, but that's by no means the norm.

A flat that is not much bigger than one normal sized room split into a bathroom and bedroom, for 1800 a month? When most Poles are lucky to earn 2500 a month?! WTF?!

Here's just a random example of a 3-room in Wroc - there are plenty of them. It's about ninety thousand pounds!! (over 400,000PLN)

For another ten or twenty thousand quid, you've got a reasonable 3-room flat in towns within an hour by train of London!!!

See this in Chelmsford, and there are properties at that price regularly. Leases are not necessarily short. (GBP103K)

Chelmsford flat - smart kitchen

I mean, huh? GBP90K for a 3-room in Wrocław where the wages are for most people only 1/4 or 1/3 of Chelmsford's?

And yeah, that's quite a good part of Chelmsford, it's not dumpsville.
zetigrek
1 Feb 2013 #5
A flat that is not much bigger than one normal sized room split into a bathroom and bedroom, for 1800 a month? When most Poles are lucky to earn 2500 a month?! WTF?!

That's the reality.
jon357 63 | 14,127
1 Feb 2013 #6
Are you sure? The payments are monthly not weekly.

In the place I came from in the UK (in Yorkshire), you can rent a newly built, nicely furnished 2 or 3 bedroom house for 2200pln. You can buy a 2 bedroom house (in a not very interesting area near the city centre) for 350,000pln.
Radders 3 | 47
1 Feb 2013 #7
It's simply bizarre, based on Poles' wages, that these prices are demanded.

When a Polish couple of my acquaintance came to stay with me here in London (Zone 2) last year I had to show them my bank statement before they'd believe me; 3 bedroom / 5 room +k +b +garden 80m2, owned with an outstanding part-mortgage for 850pln a month (11pln /m2) . OK, I bought it in 1995, but compared to their cramped, tiny Warsaw apartment for twice the cost in rental it presents a real enigma. And one reason I'm happier commuting to Poland and staying in hotels.

You can buy a 34m2 apartment in the centre of Budapest for 140,000pln - that's also what I would expect for Poland, based on average income. I simply can't understand the Polish housing market.
bullfrog 6 | 603
1 Feb 2013 #8
In the place I came from in the UK (in Yorkshire), you can rent a newly built, nicely furnished 2 or 3 bedroom house for 2200pln. You can buy a 2 bedroom house (in a not very interesting area near the city centre) for 350,000pln.

Maybe , but the general build quality you get in the UK is very poor..
jon357 63 | 14,127
1 Feb 2013 #9
If you're renting a house, it isn't much of an issue, and in Warsaw at that price, you'll find a lot of wielki plyty flats which are far, far worse. Also windowless bathrooms, dingy public areas with iron bars and broken furniture in the hallways, dodgy electrics and the list goes on.
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Feb 2013 #10
In the place I came from in the UK (in Yorkshire), you can rent a newly built, nicely furnished 2 or 3 bedroom house for 2200pln. You can buy a 2 bedroom house (in a not very interesting area near the city centre) for 350,000pln.

Same with where i come from.

That's the reality.

a reality denied by many on PF
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
1 Feb 2013 #11
You can buy a 34m2 apartment in the centre of Budapest for 140,000pln - that's also what I would expect for Poland, based on average income. I simply can't understand the Polish housing market.

Thanks for posting, yes I can't understand it either.

As for the rental market -- lots of Poles here tell me half their wage goes on a flat. That seems to be one of the best case scenarios, judging from the rents I have found here. Seems a person really needs 2000PLN a month EXCLUDING monthly service charges and other bills, to get anything remotely acceptable size and area wise.

I have an email from a letting agent today, and once she heard my budget of 1300 excluding service charges she said Ok so probably I could not help you, sorry. Best regards,

What does 1300 get you, typically, in Wroclaw? Very little. The few at that price that are not too bad are snapped up in a day. Understandably!! But they're always small and always popular nevertheless.

For any Brit coming to Wroc who wants a flat that isn't obviously tiny -- budget for about 2000PLN to 2500PLN a month in rent plus about 500-800PLN for other bills such as service charges and utilties. (At current exchange rates, that's GBP500 approx plus GBP200 approx. If the pound continues to fall as some say it might, you can add a hundred or a few hundred quid to those estimates.)

I've no work here unfortunately, but I suppose if I was a Brit working for an international firm paying good wages, it would be manageable. What the typical less fortunate locals do is a total mystery to me. Flash cars and smart flats are occupied all around -- but I just don't know how they afford it on their wages. They must be very lucky or very hard workers.
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Feb 2013 #12
They must be very lucky or very hard workers.

A huge amount are renting from family or relatives at a significantly reduced price. Some simply inherited the flats, others just bought them straight out with 5 years of extreme saving on the UK etc. And!!!a lot of Poles are up to their necks paying the rent. They have second jobs just to cover the rent for their miserable sh1tty little box apartment. There is a similar problem in Romania, Bulgaria and other very poor EU countries.
pip 10 | 1,661
1 Feb 2013 #13
I don't think you have a grasp on Polish reality. Or perhaps time has stood still where you live.
jkb - | 198
1 Feb 2013 #14
Welcome to Poland. Prices of the West, wages of the East. Unfortunately...
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Feb 2013 #15
exactly, some people just don't see this reality.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
1 Feb 2013 #16
And the reality is, that if you are going to be paying 2,500 złoty per month rent/admin/service charges for a two bed flat, you may as well take out a mortgage and be buying a four bedroom house with a garden. That is the reality that you do not see. The above posts assume that it is one person paying. Why does Inwroclaw want a two bedroom flat just for himself. I would not buy a five bedroom house for three people.
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Feb 2013 #17
And the reality is, that if you are going to be paying 2,500 złoty per month rent/admin/service charges for a two bed flat, you may as well take out a mortgage

or go abroad and quadruple your wages, like so many do.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
1 Feb 2013 #18
But it answers one of your questions, "who can afford to buy property in Poland?", obviously, people who do not pay stupid, rents.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
1 Feb 2013 #19
Why does Inwroclaw want a two bedroom flat just for himself. I would not buy a five bedroom house for three people.

I don't, I'm saying that 1300PLN (in Wrocław) gets a tenant very little. For not much more I could have a better one-bed in the UK. What I was saying was that for a decent bit of space to live, which of course I would like, the rents are not much less than provincial Britain (in some of the UK, the rents are actually lower of course). We Brits are used to small flats and yet the sizes here are still small for the money in the main (not every time, with the odd exception snapped up in hours of course). Am I right in thinking Americans are used to quite large apartments? If so, they would see the 1300zł a month flat as very claustrophobic, and probably not much larger than some American homes' walk-in closets.

The 2000zł flats would probably still get called "compact". It's not until someone pays quite a lot that the sizes are decent. Try GBP750 a month for example. 88m2 for 4000zł a month seems to be about average for an acceptable size in a popular area:

I think my 2500zł a month is fairly optimistic, you can easily double that for a proper size flat in a decent street to 5000żl a month - or GBP1100 a month excluding service charges!

if you are going to be paying 2,500 złoty per month rent/admin/service charges for a two bed flat, you may as well take out a mortgage and be buying a four bedroom house with a garden.

As for the four bedroom house with a garden, they are from about GBP180K in the good parts of Wrocław. If you're very lucky, sometimes less but not much. Most of them at that price are still nothing so great. Something probably matching US standards of size, you're looking at more like GBP400K. Pretty ordinary 154m2 house, but GBP180K. How are they affordable on Polish wages?

just to cover the rent for their miserable sh1tty little box apartment.

You ain't kidding. They are exactly that.

Welcome to Poland. Prices of the West, wages of the East. Unfortunately...

In the main, very true. Cheap potatoes, beer and vodka seem to be the main advantages. OK, I know that's enough for some!
zetigrek
1 Feb 2013 #20
What the typical less fortunate locals do is a total mystery to me

They don't rent. They live with their parents. Simple.
ismellnonsense - | 118
1 Feb 2013 #21
one thing that inwroclaw isnt taking into account
small flats are expensive in poland
as in most of the world
it really isnt much more money to rent a large flat than a small one
it might be 2000zl for a small flat
but 2500zl for a much bigger one
bullfrog 6 | 603
1 Feb 2013 #22
They don't rent. They live with their parents. Simple.

Exactly, and that is what is wrong in inWroclaw's comparison; he fails to take into account this habit (stemming from pre 1990), which means that the rental market is much narrower in Poland than in any country in Western Europe
zetigrek
1 Feb 2013 #23
Living with parents by any means is not a sign of a success, if I can put it that way. What people do is simply moving out when they find themselves a gf/bf. Then there's two to share bills. Also young people can live in a shared flat with students but kids rarely do that if they have parents in the same city/town (it's just unnecessary expense one can avoid).
Peakus - | 25
1 Feb 2013 #24
For 2500 pln in sydney you can get 75 beers in a nightclub. A plastic dog kennel is more than that. I am lucky I started to think sharply when I was young or I now would be living at home like heaps of ppl here. 2500 pln does not get you anything but 1 room in someones back yard granny flat 1 hour from the city. Living at home is not a sign of success at all here it meabs you are a loser. The cost of living has gone up heaps and wages almost nil. Poles are doing it tough heaps of ozzies are too and heaps are rich but the gap is growing. Illigal drugs are cheap by the way cheaper than alcohol and tobacco. So if you want to have 2 beers in a nightclub you can get stoned 5 or 6 times instead. The drug culture here is a joke partially caused by the government making legal drugs more expensive than illegal ones. Yes it's tough in poland and everywhere also. Not for me but I can c how it will be for my kids in 10 more years.
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Feb 2013 #25
For 2500 pln in sydney you can get 75 beers in a nightclub.

The above is waffle of the highest degree
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
1 Feb 2013 #26
it might be 2000zl for a small flatbut 2500zl for a much bigger one

Small flats are around 1300, about double the size are 2000, but for a good road you're looking at 2500 to 3000 for about 80m2. For a flat of a comfortable size, you are looking at quite a bit more if a reasonable road.

A Pole I spoke to today told me prices or property are up x3 since Poland joined the EU. I assume wages are too then? Oh, wait...
milky 13 | 1,657
1 Feb 2013 #27
I assume wages are too then?

hhahaha. Oh yea
monia 3 | 212
1 Feb 2013 #28
A flat that is not much bigger than one normal sized room split into a bathroom and bedroom, for 1800 a month? When most Poles are lucky to earn 2500 a month?! WTF?!

The answer is simple - people in Poland do not rent flats , they own them !
ismellnonsense - | 118
1 Feb 2013 #29
exactly
home ownership is very high in poland
combined with the housing market being very distorted as a result of post 1989 reforms
you get high rents for small flats
monia 3 | 212
1 Feb 2013 #30
Only 2.2 % of Polish inhabitants rent flats .


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