A guide for foreigners on buying property in Poland

by mbogda

Poland has become an attractive destination for foreigners to buy property due to its stable economy, growing real estate market, and relatively low prices compared to other European countries. However, purchasing property in Poland can be daunting, especially if you are not familiar with the local legal and administrative procedures. In this article, we will provide a guide for foreigners on how to buy property in Poland.

I personally bought a building plot in Gdansk and it took me about 2 years to find it, check it, sign a preliminary contract, and then the final one. But don’t worry, it doesn’t usually take that long – I was just very fussy and cautious. I learned a lot during this time and that’s what I want to share with you here.

Overview of the property market in Poland

Poland has a thriving property market, with many new developments and affordable prices compared to other European countries. Warsaw and Krakow are the most popular destinations for foreigners looking to buy property. The average price per square meter of a new apartment in Warsaw is around 13,600 PLN (approximately 2,900 EUR), while in Krakow, it is around 12,000 PLN (approximately 2,600 EUR). The average building plot price in Warsaw and Krakow is about 2000 per square meter. The recent inflation caused the prices to fall a bit or at least stagnate, but as the interest rates stopped rising, the expectations are that property prices will rise again.

Legal requirements for foreigners to buy property in Poland

For foreigners from EU Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland

Foreigners based in EU countries have no limitations in buying property in Poland. They have exactly the same opportunities as Polish citizens.

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For foreigners from outside the EU

Foreigners others than above are allowed to buy property in Poland after they obtain a permit from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. The permit is usually granted within 2-3 months and is valid for 12 months.

To get a permit, prove your ties to Poland. You can indicate that:

  • you have Polish nationality or origin;
  • you have a wife or husband who are Polish citizens;
  • you have a residence permit, either temporary (this does not apply to a temporary residence permit for victims of human trafficking or due to circumstances requiring a short-term stay of a foreigner in Poland), or permanent, or as a long-term EU resident;
  • you are a member of the management board of a controlled commercial company;
  • you are engaged in business or agricultural activity in Poland, in accordance with the provisions of Polish law.

You don’t need a permit if you want to buy

  • An apartment that consists of rooms and auxiliary rooms (e.g., kitchen, bathroom) and provides you with adequate housing. Such an apartment may also include, among other things: a basement or an attic, even if they are not located directly next to it;
  • a building intended for a garage – if you, as a buyer or owner of real estate or an apartment, want a garage to provide you with adequate housing;
  • real estate – if you have lived in Poland for at least 5 years after obtaining a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU resident permit;
  • real estate that will become part of a community of property – this is the case if you have a wife or husband with Polish citizenship and have lived in Poland for at least 2 years since obtaining a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU resident’s residence permit;
  • real estate from a person who has owned or perpetually used it for at least 5 years and you are, on the date of acquisition, entitled to inherit from that person (e.g., a daughter, son or grandson acquires real estate from his mother, father or grandparents);
  • property as a mortgagor (bank) – when you take ownership of the property after an unsuccessful auction in foreclosure proceedings.
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Permit may be obtained by visiting the Ministry or sending request by post.

Finding the Right Property in Poland

There are many ways to find the right property in Poland, including online portals, real estate agents, and property exhibitions. It is important to do thorough research and inspect the property before making an offer. If you are not fluent in Polish, it is recommended to hire a translator or an attorney who can help you with the paperwork and negotiations.

Online portals with property offer in Poland

There are many online portals, either dedicated to selling properties, or with universal ads. The most popular are:


Otodom is dedicated to properties of any kind – plots, apartments. It is free for those who intend to buy, but you need to pay if you want to put an ad there. You may set up e-mail notifications on new ads that fulfill your criteria. Otodom is widely used by real estate agents. It is in Polish only.

Otodom is good place to look if you want to buy property in Poland
Otodom is good place to look if you want to buy property in Poland


Just like Otodom, Domiporta is dedicated to real estate ads. It is free for buyers.


Morizon is another portal with ads, just like the two mentioned above.

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Olx is a big portal with ads in every category, not only real estate. There are ads put by agents, but also a lot from direct sellers.


Skaner is a portal that aggregates notifications about debt collectors’ auctions. This may allow you to buy property at a discounted price, but sometimes bids go higher than you would expect.

How to check the property before buying it

You should know, that some agents are really unprofessional. They may give you misleading information, either because they don’t check the property, or they just want you to close the deal for which they are paid. They are supposed to help you with the deal, but sometimes they just do nothing. If you contact an agent about the property and then buy it even without his help, he’ll still get his fee paid by the seller.

How to check an apartment

It is easier if you buy it from a developer and it is brand new. If you buy it when it’s already built – have someone with experience check it. If the walls and floor are straight if the windows have no scratches. If it’s not OK, wait until the seller deals with it.

However, it is very popular to buy an apartment before it is built. The money you pay should be paid to a deposit account and the seller can’t get this money unless you agree that the apartment is OK – it is worth having it checked by someone once it’s built. You should have some delay fine in your contract, in case the apartment is ready later than promised.

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If you buy an apartment from somebody, make sure nobody is living there at the moment of transaction, or if there is someone living, make sure to have it in the contract, that they leave at the specified time. Making someone leave your apartment is difficult in Poland and takes time.

How to check a building plot

Although you usually buy plots with help of an estate agent, and it is supposed to be checked for you, it is often just the contrary.

Make sure to visit the plot yourself or have someone do it for you. On site, you will see what may be not seen in the pictures.

Check if the utility network (water, gas, electricity, sewage) are as stated in the ad – you may check it on Geoportal website.

Check, also on Geoportal, if the plot borders go along any existing fence. If part f the plot was used by someone else for 25/30 years, it becomes hir property.

Check the land registry for any loans that may encumber the plot.

Check the development plan for the area of the plot – this will tell you, what kind of building may be built and what other restrictions are.

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If all of those are OK, you should do ground research – this will reveal, if the plot is ready to build on it, or if you need to replace the ground, and how deep. Remember, some types of ground make the plot useless.

Financing Your Property Purchase in Poland

Foreigners can obtain a mortgage from Polish banks, subject to certain conditions. Typically, banks require a minimum down payment of 20-30% of the property value and proof of income. It is recommended to shop around and compare mortgage rates from different banks to find the best deal.

Closing the Deal and Transferring Ownership

The only way to buy property in Poland is to sign a notary act in the notary office.

Transaction often includes a preliminary contract and paying a non-refundable deposit (zadatek). This gives you time to prepare the money, at the seller has time to prepare the necessary documents. Once the preliminary contract is signed and the deposit is paid, the buyer and seller need to sign the final sales contract (umowa sprzedazy) at the notary notary. If the seller refuses to sign the final contract, he needs to give back twice the value of the deposit. The buyer then needs to pay the remaining amount and the notary fee (usually around 1-2% of the property value). The property ownership is transferred to the buyer once the transaction is registered in the Land and Mortgage Register.

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