The picture emerging emerging from stats produced by GUS (Poland’s statistics office) as well as market research companies remains bleak. According to GUS, developers began work on 11,300 flats in the first quarter of 2009, a drop of 55.3 percent compared to the first four months of 2008.
According to the daily Rzeczpospolita (in Polish), even those figures could be misleading because many developers started construction just to keep their construction permits from expiring, but they may do little more than shovel dirt from one place to another. Market analysts from Reas took that into account in its claim that the fall was actually 60 percent.
The number of construction permits issued in the first quarter was 221,150, a drop of almost 30 percent.
Meanwhile, Reas says developers sold 25,400 flats in Poland’s six biggest cities in 2008 — 30 percent less than in 2007. In the last quarter of 2008, 4,381 flats were sold in those six main cities. In the first quarter of this year, 4,408 flats were sold. This might represent an increase, but only if one doesn’t take into account the number of cancelled purchases. In the last quarter of 2008, about 600 people had second thoughts on buying a flat (or, more likely, their banks had second thoughts on granting them mortgages) and eventually cancelled the purchases. In the first quarter of this year, the number of cancelled buys rose to 1,000.