The coalition partners will not support loan subsidies. Is the end of the successor to “Safe Credit” certain?

Safe loan 2 percent  this is a lesson for the new government.  Is it possible to undo the price increase?

First, the Left and the Razem Party announced that they would not support the government's loan subsidy program. A few days ago, Szymon Hołownia strongly criticized the project. – No more programs such as the safe 2% loan, which enriched developers in metropolises and led to price increases throughout Poland – said the Speaker of the Sejm. This actually ends the discussion about the future of loan subsidies. On the other side, however, there are confused customers who do not know whether to wait for the law or to buy on market conditions.

At the beginning of the year, the then Minister of Development and Technology, Krzysztof Hetman, announced that the successor of the “Safe 2% loan”, which was in force in the last months of the rule of Law and Justice, would be launched around the holidays. In spring, the assumptions of the program were presented, which, as the government announced, was to be as attractive as its predecessor, and at the same time would not repeat its mistakes.

Szymon Hołownia against the “Na start” program

In April, Krzysztof Hetman announced that he would run for MEP and was replaced by Krzysztof Paszyk. He announced that nothing will change in the mortgage subsidy program and his officials will continue to work on the bill. If we believe the information coming from the ministry building, the work is still ongoing, but more and more one can get the impression that these are activities “for ourselves and for the muses”.

The idea of ​​subsidizing loans antagonizes MPs – even from the parties that form the ruling coalition. A few days ago, the Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, loudly announced his opposition. “No more programs like the safe 2% loan, which enriched developers in metropolises and led to price increases throughout Poland. This also means opposition to a 0% loan, Poland 2050 will not support this idea, we will vote for support for social housing construction,” he declared.

Who benefited from “Safe Credit”?

His outrage did not come out of nowhere: although almost 100,000 people took advantage of the program. beneficiaries, but the subsidies significantly increased real estate prices throughout the country. BIG DATA data shows that the average prices of apartments offered by developers from December 2022 (the “Bk 2 percent” announcements appeared at the beginning of this year) to October increased by 18 percent, exceeding PLN 16,000. PLN per square meter In Krakow, the prices of premises increased by 23% during this time, to almost PLN 15,500. PLN per square meter, in the Tricity – by 21%, to almost PLN 14.3 thousand. PLN, and in Poznań – by 11 percent, to PLN 11.7 thousand. PLN per square meter So only a few benefited, and all buyers suffered the consequences.

Moreover, it turned out that the beneficiaries of the program were not overwhelmingly families with children. PKO BP bank analyzed 38 thousand. applications received from July to October, in the first four months of the program's operation, and on this basis he created a profile of a typical beneficiary of government subsidies.

What did it turn out to be? The average applicant is a man and a single person – there were three times as many single people as in the case of other housing loans. In the largest agglomerations, applications from singles accounted for 74%. all applications. On the other hand, the smaller the town, the lower the percentage of singles among the applicants. In regular loans, singles account for approximately 40 percent. applicants, practically regardless of the size of the town.

The Left and the Razem Party also do not agree to subsidizing loans

The program turned out to be a failure in two key aspects. Although he was criticized by the then opposition, during the election campaign Donald Tusk promised to continue the subsidies in a new formula. The coalition partners and the Razem Party, which is not in the government but supports KO in most votes, were against it.

– Razem will not support subsidies for banks and developers. Loan subsidies will not solve the housing problem, they will only deepen it. Large development companies will benefit from subsidies because they drive price increases. We believe this is a waste of public money. If such a bill reaches the Sejm, we will vote against it, Andrian Zandberg announced at the beginning of 2024, when Krzysztof Hetman began to clarify the rules of the program.

Zandberg argued that “Poland should spend a lot of money on housing policy, but in exactly the opposite way than Minister Hetman wants to do.” – Instead of subsidizing loans for people who earn PLN 25,000 a month, we should build several hundred thousand municipal apartments. This is the only way we can reduce housing prices on the market. To stop the housing crisis, 1 percent of GDP must be spent annually on this purpose. Without this, apartments will still be beyond the reach of most young people, said the politician.

The Left has a similar attitude to the project.

– A project called “start-up loan, 0% loan”. it is not there yet, it is not in the Sejm yet, we are not discussing it at all yet. And I hope that we have already worked through it, Dziemianowicz-Bąk said in May on Radio Three.

She linked loan subsidies to rising prices.

– The increase in housing prices makes these apartments even less accessible and this is the same driving spiral that benefits developers, that benefits banks, but certainly not benefiting young people, young families – these apartments are not becoming more and more more accessible, she argued.

What's next for real estate prices?

For the next few months, there was silence on the subject: from time to time, the minister or one of the deputy ministers of development was asked in the media whether work was in progress. He confirmed it, but there was no specifics.

This situation causes confusion for customers who are waiting in the starting block to submit an application for subsidies. Time passes and they don't know whether to wait or buy an apartment at their own expense. The entire market is shaking. If there was a clear declaration that the government was backing down on its intentions, housing prices could drop slightly. However, this impulse is lacking, and it can be suspected that once it starts, apartment prices will go up. And this is not even because developers are preparing a price conspiracy, but due to the increase in demand (at least in the first period of the program's existence).

The number of immediately available apartments is still lower than needed – this is a consequence of the abandonment of many construction projects during the pandemic and later at the turn of 2021/22, when interest in purchasing real estate decreased due to high interest rates.

So what do we have at this point? Hołownia's announcement that Poland 2050 will not support the project in the votes. Tusk cannot count on the heads of the Left and the Razem Party. And something tangible? Yes, the draft law on the “#naStart” housing loan was published in April 2024 on the website of the Government Legislation Center.

We also have MPs from the Civic Platform who, when asked, do not speak about subsidies. And these questions are asked less and less in radio and television studios, as if everyone decided that there would be no bread made from this flour anyway.

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