The long slow thaw

Do you still remember that biting frost a few days back? Today, there’s no sign of it – just like there’s no sign of the snow heaped up on the sides of the streets and of the padded coats of the people walking down them. There’s no more complaining about slippey pavements; there are just puddles instead.

And can you imagine that just a few days ago we could have taken the kids to see the snow-covered mountain slopes, that is, of course, if they hadn’t all been closed. Unfortunately, not every child in this country has a mummy in the government or a daddy in the presidential palace who can sort everything out for them behind the scenes. But let us at least be glad that we’ve actually been able to show the little ones what snow looks like, even if only through the window. Because according to some, the last snowflake in Europe will fall in 2025.

Let’s just hope that the thaw we are seeing today is also a sign that the icy grip of the pandemic is finally loosening. Unfortunately, it’s still impossible or at least very difficult to travel abroad. But that’s where Eurobuild comes in. By immersing yourself in this month’s issue, you can forget for the moment about hassles with border guards on Poland’s western border and instead check out how business is going for Polish real estate companies operating in Germany. And then you can also look even further afield – at the investment from Asia, which despite all those border fences is still flooding into our region.

We have also launched a new section that we’ve called ‘The Expert Eye’, which is given over entirely to the real estate consultancies. For the first of these, Cushman & Wakefield pull out their magnifying glasses to take a closer look at the PRS sector. By using their considerable powers of perception, they give us their predictions for how the institutional rental market is set to develop in Poland and how long that particular hen is going to keep on laying its golden eggs. In this issue we also review residential developers’ sales results for last year. As you will see, the sector as a whole doesn’t have much to worry about, although some individual companies certainly do. We also take a look at the effects of the coronavirus on other sectors of the market, such as the pros and cons in the present situation of outsourcing property management compared to having it in-house. We also check out how much truth there is in the claims of office and residential developers that they are now having to “design everything from the ground up” to meet the current requirements of tenants and residents.

As I write these words, I’m watching the minister of health, who has just made visors illegal and introduced new lockdown measures – this time in Warmia-Masuria, where hotels will have to close as well as shopping centres and recreational facilities. In addition to that, those coming into Poland from the Czech Republic and Slovakia are going to have to sit it out in quarantine – unless, of course, they’ve already had two shots of the vaccine. So it seems that once again the world is about to shrink. But just think ahead to this summer and how good that Pilsner brought over from the Czech Republic is going to taste after it’s been chilled in a Masurian lake. Somehow, we are going to get through this.