The pinnacle of our grandmothers’ dreams was M3 in a prefabricated block of flats. The next generation, after years of living in a small space, dreamed of a bright kitchen open to the living room. The bar in terms of what customers expect is constantly being raised. What do Poles focus on today when looking for their dream place to live?
The research leaves no doubt. Poles want to own their own real estate. The report “There is no place like home, or how Poles live”, commissioned by Echo Investment, shows that two out of three respondents have an apartment, and almost half indicate that having an apartment is synonymous with a sense of independence for them. So, despite inflation and the ubiquitous uncertainty, Poles do not stop striving to have their own “M”, but today the object of sighs is significantly different from what Poles dreamed of years ago.
Functionality changed by all cases
The times when Poles bought everything, no matter what, “as long as they could go on their own”, are gone forever. Customers today do not accept inconsistent rooms or ill-considered solutions. Today, buyers usually have clearly defined expectations regarding a new home. An important issue that customers take into account when buying an apartment is the layout of the rooms.
“Buyers are primarily looking for functional properties. This is currently the most important aspect for them,” says Klementyna Sobieraj, marketing director at Archicom. “We can see that today’s consumers primarily want their own apartment to be spacious, well-lit, surrounded by greenery and arranged in a way that allows the interior design to be adapted to their current needs. These are relatively universal criteria that apply to all real estate, regardless of the size,” adds Sobieraj.
This was helped by the pandemic, which in many cases forced the urgent need to rearrange the space by preparing a place for work, study or hobbies. “For such changes to be possible, the apartment must have an optimal layout and well-thought-out arrangement of the available rooms,” emphasizes Klementyna Sobieraj from Archicom.
There is no doubt that the housing preferences of Poles were influenced by both the pandemic and the subsequent war in Ukraine. “These events made Poles sensitive to values such as a sense of security, and also influenced their housing needs, which meant that the size or number of rooms are no longer at the top of the list of priorities” – emphasizes the marketing director at Archicom.
Location more important than square footage
The need to revise one’s expectations is also influenced by rising inflation or difficult access to mortgage loans. ARC Rynek i Opinia survey “How do Poles live? A decade on the real estate market” commissioned by Nexity shows that when choosing an apartment, Poles are most often guided by the price (90 percent) and location (89 percent). The size of the apartment took only third place (78%).
“Today, the first violin is played by the location, which should be understood not only as a pleasant district, but also extensive green areas nearby or a satisfactory commercial, service and communication infrastructure. However, we must remember that a specific location itself without the mentioned amenities, such as the functionality of the apartment, definitely loses its attractiveness,” emphasizes Klementyna Sobieraj, marketing director at Archicom.
There is no life without a garden or a balcony. Eco-client bets on green
From the Archicom barometer “Living well” shows that 82 percent. of respondents cannot imagine life without a balcony or terrace. This is confirmed by the ARC Rynek i Opinia survey, which shows that as many as 9 out of 10 Poles consider outdoor space, e.g. a balcony or terrace, as an additional asset, which a few years ago was not always a priority. Today, developers see how popular flats with a garden are.-
Access to your own patch of grass is not everything. Customers go a step further. According to a study commissioned by Echo Investment by the Ariadna Research Panel, as much as 58 percent. Poles expect more greenery from new residential investments. Also the common one. In the “No place like home” study by Nexity, more than half of the respondents would like to have “a lot of greenery and space to relax” in the estate. Every third respondent dreams of a place for recreation and building social bonds. But at the same time, referring to the pandemic changes, as many as 16 percent. dreams of a separate place in the estate … a place to work.
There is also an increasing focus on ecology. Factors that are taken into account when choosing the perfect place to live include rainwater irrigation of green areas, photovoltaic panels that power common areas of buildings, energy-saving LED lighting in common areas and charging stations for electric cars.
Gateway for the application and parcel locker. Innovation is gaining in importance
The importance of innovative technologies is also growing. Echo Investment’s research shows that there is a large group of people (38 percent) who would agree to pay extra to the developer for intelligent solutions, such as opening a gate or door with a smartphone or controlling various functions in the apartment from the application level.
There are also unchanging issues. From the Archicom barometer “Living well” shows that 80 percent. is looking for adjustability in new apartments, and 79 percent. wants privacy. In addition, the priorities in the immediate vicinity include: the presence of a supermarket (61%), a park (48%) and a local store (41%). A novelty compared to previous years is that today’s customers also pay attention to whether there is a parcel locker on the estate. In the Archicom barometer, as many as 40% of respondents indicated the presence of a parcel machine.
“Based on the report, we can conclude that some trends are temporary, but what affects the long-term attractiveness of an apartment are timeless values. In a sense, they can be narrowed down to the concept of a 15-minute city. We want to be able to take care of all everyday matters in the vicinity of the estate, which should also have a social function, support ecological habits, enable strengthening bonds with other residents, and reflect the historical identity of a given location,” says Klementyna Sobieraj.
Interestingly, buyers’ choices are also influenced by their gender. As the Otodom and SWPS Innowacje study showed, more attention is paid to e.g. the insolation of the apartment and whether there is a garden next to it are definitely paid by women. For men, issues such as m. smart home solutions and who lives next door.
One thing remains unchanged. Regardless of their preferences as to size, environment or gender, customers always want one thing: when they enter the premises, they want to feel that this is exactly what they were looking for.