Polish Government Introduces Vacancy Tax, While Experts Express Skepticism of Its Effectiveness￼
The Polish government announced plans to introduce a vacancy tax on flats that are not used for several months in order to increase the availability of premises on the market and to limit the activities of speculators who buy real estate wholesale. However, two months after the announcement, no details have been provided on how the tax will be implemented. Industry experts have stated that such a tribute will not increase the availability of housing and there are better ways to improve the situation, such as simplifying construction procedures and releasing land owned by state-owned companies, government agencies, and local governments.
According to the National Census conducted in 2021 by the Central Statistical Office, there are 1.8 million vacancies in Poland, with the highest percentages in the Małopolskie and Podlaskie voivodeships. The definition of a vacancy includes uninhabited apartments, including those that are unsuitable for housing due to poor technical conditions and those treated as capital investments.
Malgorzata Wełnowska, a senior real estate market analyst at Cenatorium, believes that the new tax will not bring the expected effect and may actually increase rental prices. She stated that the availability of housing is unlikely to change, and in the longer term, additional costs will increase rates because landlords will want to transfer them to tenants. Wełnowska also noted that the key issue is the definition of a vacancy and how it is determined, as there are differing interpretations that could affect the implementation of the tax.
In summary, while the vacancy tax was announced with the goal of increasing the availability of housing and limiting the activities of real estate speculators, experts believe that there are better ways to achieve these goals. Additionally, the definition of a vacancy and how it is determined could affect the implementation and effectiveness of the tax.
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