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Quality Urban Developments with a Finnish Twist: Interview with Andrzej Gorgoń, Marketing Director at YIT

Could Finnish quality be the key to thriving in the dynamic real estate market in Poland? In the last few years, this sector was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing war beyond the border. Despite that, YIT has been persistently broadening its Polish portfolio.


In 2023, YIT became the first housing developer in Poland to win five prestigious awards in the European Property Awards competition. This year, the company is engaging in multiple new and ongoing developments in as many as three Polish cities. 


In the interview first featured in the last Spondeo publication, Tuomas Asunmaa talked with Andrzej Gorgoń, marketing director at YIT, about the real estate market and YIT’s further plans for Poland.


Source: YIT

What have been the main trends on the Polish real estate market recently?

The situation has been very dynamic recently, which was influenced by many factors. The Covid-19 pandemic initially brought a period of uncertainty, followed by a surge in demand due to low interest rates. However, the outbreak of the war in Ukraine combined with the increase in inflation resulted in a series of interest rate increases by the National Bank of Poland. This move, while intended to curb inflation, also limited consumers' creditworthiness. Currently, we are again observing very high customer activity and a dynamic increase in apartment prices, which is partly driven by the government programs. However, the good news is that after a period of uncertainty and lower demand, developers are launching more new projects, which should lead to an increase in the demand-supply balance on the market in the near future.


Has the government’s 2% program changed the situation?

The program had a significant impact on the housing market in Poland. In the first months since its introduction, banks received over 57,000 applications for loans under the program, and almost 21,000 contracts were signed. The program caused an increase in demand for apartments, which led to an increase in prices. According to data, prices of apartments on the primary market in Poland increased by 18% in October 2023 compared to December last year. The program also had a positive impact on the availability of mortgage loans for young people. Thanks to the reduction in interest rates, loans were more accessible to people with lower incomes.


What are YIT’s current projects and plans for 2024?

We currently have three investments in Warsaw - Nordic Bemowo, Spokojny Mokotów and Aroma Park. We are also building two stages of the Żurawie project in Gdańsk. In 2024, we have two new projects in Kraków, which is a new city for us. It is both exciting and challenging as we need to set up a whole new team, gain brand recognition and build a reputation. Our goal is to show new customers that we focus on delivering quality developments. The first investment in Kraków will be Portowa Zabłocie - we strongly believe that this will be our hallmark in the capital of Lesser Poland. The second investment will start in the second half of 2024. It will be a multi-stage and first fully prefabricated project in Kraków. In total, over 700 apartments will be built here. Also, next year we are planning to start a new development in the north of Warsaw in Białołęka and the next stage of Nordic Bemowo. 


You have been to Finland many times - what’s your favorite word in Finnish?

The first one that comes to my mind is kippis (cheers). Another very interesting word is kalsarikännit, which means drinking alone in your underwear with no intention of going out.


Are there any Finnish connections in your projects?

Definitely, there are many! For example, in Gdańsk, we have a project called Żurawie (Cranes) because the cranes are the symbol of shipyards in the city. Interestingly, they are the KONE cranes that arrived in Gdańsk in 70s from Finland. What’s more, it was Rainer Mahlamäki who designed this project.


Do you use any Finnish materials in your buildings in Poland?

Yes! Our elevators are from KONE, and in some locations the balcony glass was provided by Lumon. We have also been considering some other solutions, such as locks and saunas.



 

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