Central European Property – University city-why are property buyers so passionate about it?

November 1, 2011

Which city do you know that is:

  • a safe haven economy, which is politically stable and has a buoyant property market?
  • becoming known as the Silicon Valley of Europe, partly for its business process outsourcing capability?
  • in a European Union country that did not to go into recession, when other countries did?
  • now reported to be where investors, wary of Europe, are  putting their cash, according to FT, Colliers, Jones Lang

Krakow Property, Wawel CastleMany believe that most of the Polish people have come to work in the UK. This is only part of the story. Incentives were offered to get manual workers back to Poland to upgrade the sports stadia and infrastructure, ahead of 2012 UEFA championship. What’s more, recent anecdotal evidence from the British Polish Chamber of Commerce reveals that some middle-class Britons, fed up with the recession in the UK, are ironically turning migrants, and heading to Poland and Kraków  (possibly known as Cracow by British people), for a better life.

Kraków Property – Economy and World profile

Low labour costs and proximity to important markets are making Central and Eastern Europe an attractive manufacturing destination and Poland is key to this. In the major cities, English is widely spoken, particularly in “white collar” industries, like IT, or accountancy.

Kraków is positioning itself as Europe’s Silicon Valley, based on the large number of local and foreign technology companies. Kraków is the second city in Poland (after Warsaw) and is a top destination, particularly as a city centre break, for foreigners. According to the World Investment Report 2011 by the UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Kraków is also a significant, emerging, city location for investment in global BPO projects (Business Process Outsourcing) in the world.

UNCTAD has just revealed that Poland now ranks as the 6th most attractive country for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the world. Up from 12th last year and puts Poland ahead of all other European Union countries.

Even China is investing in Poland. For example part of China Shanxi Yuncheng Plate Making Group, (one of the world’s leading makers of printing cylinders), is being built in the ?odz Special Economic Zone (LSSE).

Kraków, the unofficial cultural capital of Poland, was named the official European Capital of Culture for the year 2000 by the European Union. It attracts seven million visitors a year. Major landmarks include the 10 acre, Grand Square, (Rynek G?ówny) the biggest, original, Medieval Square in Europe; Gothic, Wawel Castle dating from when Kraków  was the capital city of Poland; the Barbakan, a medieval castle; Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter; Auschwitz, 70 km west of Kraków  and the Salt mine. Kraków also has 28 museums and public art galleries.

Krakow Property – Context of Education

Kraków is a major centre of education. More than ten university or academy-level institutions offer courses in the city, with 170,000 students. Jagiellonian University (UJ) is the oldest and best known university in Poland, founded in 1364 and ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement as the best university in the country.

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) has been implemented in all courses and specialties, enabling trouble-free linking of studies at UJ with other European countries, encouraging increased student mobility.

Krakow Property – Accessibility of it

Kraków enjoys direct flights from major airlines, including the budget operators. BA and Easyjet fly from Gatwick, Ryanair flies from Stansted, Skyeurope Slovakia fly from Stansted, Manchester and Birmingham, Easyjet also flies from Luton as well as Belfast

Krakow Property Market

Poland is expecting GDP growth of 3.5% in 2011. Property investors, seeking stable, capital growth and promising rental prospects should think about Kraków  where yields can be 5%+. As international employers seek to bring subsidiaries to Poland and recruit more people in city centres and special economic zones, like Kraków, demand for property rises.

Property prices have appreciated in stronger European countries like Poland, whose economic growth at 8.1% bodes well for property markets. Property prices grew by over 8% in 2010 at a time when the UK was barely averaging 1% property price appreciation.

Krakow Property – Conclusion

So a city with a buoyant economy, strong university faculties, a wealth of culture, a flourishing  property market and are easily accessible. Why not give this European city a whirl and see if you come away singing its praises too?

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