Why will the trend always be positive for a commodity for which demand is guaranteed to shrink over the next 50 years?
I think Dee, that you have just hit the nail on the head. There is no logical reason for property to increase in value simply because it is property. When rental yields are unprofitable the only way money can be made on property is through capital appreciation. In a market in which the average person cannot afford to buy and where capital appreciation is non-existent, property would appear to be a losing bet.
Ireland's property market has had its day. I dont know enough about Poland to provide an informed opinion but as many people on this forum are saying, that if the average price of a property is out of reach of the average Polish salary *6 or more, and where renting out a new apartment will obviously not provide a decent return ie IMO decent return = at least 5/6% yield, where is the capital appreciation coming from? I would guess entirely from speculation. That is what we call a lack of fundamentals, and carries all the hallmarks of a bubble. I would describe it as a pyramid scheme of sorts. As I said I know more about Ireland than Poland but based on the comments Ive read on this site things dont sound promising. However the one joker in the Polish pack as I see it is the possible effect from those millions of Poles living abroad. Its possible that if they intend to return to Poland and bring a large amount of capital for investment in property with them they could perhaps keep a genuine demand which may sustain the market.My girlfriend is possibly included in this category. The way things are going in Ireland at least, many Poles will be heading home pretty soon as the work disappears here. Many will probably go to London for the build up to the Olympics but they will be competing with existing workers and what many expect to be a large migration of Irish construction workers to London over the next 12 to 18 months. So possibly after the Olympics there will be the beginnings of a mass return to Poland. Im speculating here and just calling it as I see it but I would be interested in hearing any other views which may educate me further on the Polish situation.
As for Dees point about the western world's shrinking population, it is a very important point when examining potential property price inflation. The wealthier a country gets the less children that people tend to have.The decrease in child bearing often seems to coincide with an increase in economic production. Looking at the examples of Japan, and also Germany, during the recent past this has led to an over supply of properties for a decreasing population. Again, somebody would have to educate me as to the position in Poland, but the laws of supply and demand dictate that prices of a commodity which are increasing in number continually are not guaranteed to increase if the potential market ie people is decreasing. The opposite is in fact the case. The only conclusion to draw from that would be that property is definitely not a long term investment but rather a short to medium term one.