Buying real estate in Poland as a foreigner?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Buying property in Poland as a foreigner: a full guide

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buying property foreigner Poland

Everything you need to know is included in our Poland Property Pack

Poland is an increasingly popular destination for foreign investors looking to invest in real estate. It offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, a vibrant culture, and friendly locals.

However, buying property abroad can be a complex process, with plenty of laws and regulations to consider.

Don't worry! This guide is here to make the process easier for foreign buyers. We'll walk you through the property market in Poland, providing a straightforward and simple explanation of everything you need to know.

Also, for a more in-depth analysis, you can check our property pack for Poland.

Can you purchase and own a property in Poland as a foreigner?

If you are American, we have a dedicated blog post regarding the property buying and owning process in Poland for US citizens.

Purchasing real estate in Poland as a foreigner involves several considerations and regulations that differ depending on your nationality and the type of property you wish to buy.

Let's break down the key aspects to understand what you, as a foreigner, can buy in terms of real estate in Poland.

Firstly, the rules vary significantly depending on whether you are from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) or from a non-EU/EEA country.

If you're from an EU or EEA country, the process is relatively straightforward. You are generally allowed to purchase real estate without any special permissions, much like Polish citizens. This includes both residential and commercial properties, as well as land.

However, there are exceptions for agricultural land and forests, where certain restrictions still apply, and you might need permission from the relevant Polish authorities.

For non-EU/EEA nationals, the process is a bit more complex. You are typically required to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Interior if you wish to buy a property. This permit is granted based on an assessment of how your property acquisition aligns with Polish interests.

The process involves submitting an application that details your intent and includes various documents like your passport, a copy of the preliminary agreement with the seller, and proof of your legal status in Poland.

Regarding residential properties, as a non-EU/EEA foreigner, you can usually purchase apartments or houses without much hassle, especially if they are in urban areas.

When it comes to purchasing land, especially agricultural land, the process is more stringent, and obtaining permission can be challenging.

Your rights as a property owner in Poland are pretty much the same as those of Polish citizens. You have the right to lease, sell, or develop your property within the bounds of Polish law.

It's essential to be aware of local zoning laws and regulations, especially if you plan on developing or significantly altering the property.

There is no requirement for you to reside in Poland to buy property, nor is there a specific visa or permit required solely for the purpose of buying property. Your legal status in Poland (like having a residency permit) can sometimes facilitate the process, especially for non-EU/EEA nationals.

Regarding a minimum investment, there's no general rule specifying a minimum amount you must spend on real estate in Poland. Your investment will depend on the property's location, size, and type.

Properties in major cities like Warsaw or Krakow are typically more expensive than those in rural areas.

Can you become a resident in Poland by purchasing and owning a property?

Poland did not offer a direct residency-by-investment program specifically through real estate purchases, unlike some other countries.

This means that simply buying property in Poland does not automatically entitle you to become a resident or gain a residency permit. However, owning property can be a part of your overall profile if you apply for residency on other grounds.

For non-EU nationals, obtaining residency in Poland typically involves either employment, starting a business, studying, or having family ties in Poland. If you're considering moving to Poland and are interested in buying property.

It's essential to understand that the property purchase alone won't grant you residency status. You would need to fulfill other criteria set by Polish immigration laws.

If you're employed by a Polish company, running a business in Poland, or have other substantial ties to the country, owning property could strengthen your case when applying for a residency permit, but it's not a standalone solution.

The requirements for residency generally include having a stable and regular source of income, health insurance, and a valid reason for staying in Poland, such as work, family, or education.

Regarding the duration of the residency, it varies based on the type of permit you receive. Some permits are issued for a year, while others might be for a longer period, depending on your circumstances.

Permanent residency is usually a possibility after a continuous stay of several years in Poland under a temporary residency permit. The exact duration can vary, and specific conditions need to be met.

As for citizenship, holding a permanent residency is one of the prerequisites for applying for Polish citizenship.

However, obtaining citizenship involves additional criteria, such as demonstrating proficiency in the Polish language and an understanding of Polish culture and society.

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buying property foreigner Poland

Market indicators

You can find fresh and updated data in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Poland.

By examining the the the GDP per capita indicator, we can see that Polish people have become 15.9% richer throughout the past 5 years.

For real estate investors, there's excellent news on the horizon. The expanding wealth among the population has the potential to create increased demand for real estate, leading to a foreseeable future of rising prices.

The platform Numbeo indicates us that rental properties in Poland offer rental yields between 2.4% and 5.1%.

These values for rental yields can be considered as "moderate", which means they fall within a reasonable range and are neither exceptionally high nor exceptionally low.

To know more, you can also read our dedicated article: is it a good time to buy a property in Poland?

The expat life

Life as an expat in Poland can be incredibly rewarding. The country is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. With so much to explore, it’s easy to become immersed in the unique culture and lifestyle of the country.

Poland is a great place to live because the cost of living is relatively low compared to other European countries. Expats can find affordable housing, food, transportation, and entertainment. The public transportation system is well-developed, making it easy to get around. Expats will also find plenty of international restaurants, cafes, and bars in major cities like Warsaw and Krakow.

The people of Poland are very welcoming and friendly. Expats will find that the locals are very hospitable and open to meeting new people. English is widely spoken, so language barriers should not be a problem.

The country has plenty of activities and attractions to keep expats busy. From skiing in the mountains to exploring the Baltic coast, there is something for everyone. Poland also has many festivals and events throughout the year, so expats can easily find something to do.

Overall, living as an expat in Poland can be a rewarding experience. Expats will find a vibrant culture, a low cost of living, and plenty of activities and attractions to explore. With its welcoming people and unique culture, Poland is an ideal destination for expats looking for an exciting new life abroad.

What are the best places to invest in real estate in Poland?

This table summarizes some of the best places to buy a property in Poland.

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (PLN) Strengths
Warsaw ≈ 1.8 million 8,000 - 12,000 National capital, economic hub, cultural attractions
Kraków ≈ 800,000 9,000 - 13,000 Historical city, UNESCO World Heritage sites, vibrant arts scene
Wrocław ≈ 650,000 7,000 - 11,000 University town, beautiful architecture, lively nightlife
Poznań ≈ 550,000 6,000 - 10,000 Cultural center, trade fairs, historic old town
Gdańsk ≈ 470,000 8,000 - 12,000 Coastal city, Hanseatic heritage, beach resorts
Łódź ≈ 700,000 5,000 - 8,000 Industrial history, revitalized districts, creative industries
Katowice ≈ 300,000 6,000 - 10,000 Industrial and cultural center, music festivals, green spaces

Do you need a lawyer to buy real estate in Poland?

When purchasing a property in Poland, engaging a local lawyer can provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal aspects and ensuring a successful transaction.

One crucial document they can help you with is the Purchase Agreement (Umowa Sprzedaży), a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Polish lawyer can also assist with conducting a Property Title Search (Wyszukiwanie księgi wieczystej) to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Additionally, they can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permits and approvals, such as approval from the local Land Registry or relevant authorities.

They will ensure that all applicable taxes and fees, such as the Property Transfer Tax and Court Fees, are paid correctly and in compliance with Polish laws and regulations.

What are the risks when purchasing a property in Poland?

We've got an article dedicated to the risks associated with purchasing property in Poland.

When buying a property in Poland, there are a few risks that are unique to the country.

First, there is a risk of buying a property that is subject to a land registry dispute. This can occur when two parties claim ownership of the same property, and the dispute can take a long time to resolve.

Second, there is a risk of buying a property that has been illegally built or is not in compliance with building regulations.

Lastly, there is a risk of buying a property that is subject to a mortgage, which can lead to foreclosure if the buyer is unable to keep up with payments.

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Everything you need to know is included in our Poland Property Pack

What are the required documents for a real estate transaction in Poland?

When buying a property in Poland, the documents required include:

1. A valid passport or other identity document

2. Tax identification number (NIP) or EU VAT number

3. Proof of address in Poland

4. A valid purchase agreement

5. A title deed or certificate of ownership

6. A notarized power of attorney (if applicable)

7. Bank statement

8. Land survey (if applicable)

9. Building permit (if applicable)

We review each of these documents and tell you how to use them in our property pack for Poland.

How can you negotiate effectively with people from Poland?

When negotiating with individuals from Polish culture, it's important to consider specific aspects of their culture to achieve success.

Building personal relationships and trust is highly valued in Poland. Taking the time to engage in friendly conversations, showing genuine interest in your Polish counterparts, and creating a warm and friendly atmosphere will set the stage for successful negotiations.

Polish culture respects authority and hierarchy. It's important to acknowledge individuals in positions of authority by using proper titles and addressing them respectfully. This will positively impact the negotiation process.

Punctuality is highly valued in Poland. Being on time for meetings demonstrates professionalism and respect for others' time. It's essential to adhere to agreed-upon schedules to create a positive impression and foster a productive negotiation environment.

Polish communication style is often direct and straightforward. Express your opinions clearly and concisely while maintaining a polite and respectful tone. Focus on presenting logical arguments supported by facts and avoid beating around the bush.

Politeness and formalities hold significant importance in Polish culture. Use proper forms of address, show appreciation for contributions, and maintain a courteous demeanor throughout the negotiation process. Polite language and gestures of respect will help create a positive negotiation environment.

Polish culture values thorough analysis and attention to detail. Prepare well-supported proposals with facts, data, and logical reasoning. Demonstrating a thorough understanding of the subject matter will enhance your credibility and contribute to successful negotiations.

Consensus and cooperation are key in Polish culture. Decision-making involves discussions and seeking input from all parties involved. Be patient, listen actively, and be open to compromise. Finding common ground will lead to successful negotiations in Poland.

Lastly, demonstrate cultural sensitivity by familiarizing yourself with Polish customs and traditions. Learn about greetings, traditional customs, and dining etiquette. Showing appreciation for Polish culture will help establish trust and strengthen the negotiation process.

Do banks offer loans to foreigners in Poland?

Foreigners can get property loans in Poland, but the eligibility criteria and requirements vary depending on the lender and loan terms.

Getting a property loan in Poland as a foreigner may require a valid residence permit, proof of income, and meeting the specific requirements set by the lending institutions in the country.

PKO Bank Polski, Bank Pekao, and Santander Bank Polska are among the Polish banks that have the potential to offer mortgages to non-resident individuals.

Mortgage rates in Poland for a 20-year term range from 5% to 9%, which are considered average.

What are the taxes related to a property transaction in Poland?

Here is a breakdown of taxes related to a property transaction in Poland.

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Capital Gains Tax Tax on the capital gain from the sale of a property held for less than five years 19% on the net capital gains (difference between sale and cost prices) Seller
Property Tax Annual tax on the value of property owned Ranges from 0.5% to 2% of the property value Owner
Rental Income Tax Tax on rental income generated from the property A progressive rate ranging from 18% to 32% of rental income after deduction of expenses Owner
Property Transfer Tax A tax imposed on the transfer of property rights 2% of the market value of pre-owned property Buyer
Value Added Tax (VAT) A tax on the sale of newly constructed properties A flat rate of 23% of the property sale price Buyer

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Poland?

Below, you'll find a list of fees involved in a property transaction in Poland.

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Registration Fee Fees for registering the property transfer in the Land Register Around 0.1% of the value of the property Buyer
Notary Fee Fees charged by the notary for handling the property transfer Varies from 0.25% to 3% of the property purchase price Buyer
Real Estate Agent Commission Commission paid to the real estate agent involved in the transaction 2% to 3% of the property purchase price or a fixed fee agreed upon with the agent Buyer

Buying real estate in Poland can be risky

An increasing number of foreign investors are showing interest in Poland. However, 90% of them will make mistakes. Avoid the pitfalls with our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Poland