The average value of the possessions of a Polish family is 257 000 PLN (after the substraction of debt) – shows the latest preliminary research conducted by the National Bank of Poland. This value is ca. 10 000 euro more than the value of the possessions of an average household in Germany. – These figures show a significant importance of owning a flat for wealth. Germans are much more likely to rent flats rather than buy them, which partially explains the lower net value of their assets. Sadly, as most of Poles' wealth is frozen in immovable property, they never see any of the money in physical form – comments Łukasz Kozłowski, expert of Employers of Poland.
The main factor incentivizing Poles to save money is their wish to have a flat. Half the people who rent have accumulated assets of a value lower than 13 000 PLN (for comparison: the median for flat-owners with no mortgage is 422 000 PLN) – without the adjustment for debt. On the one hand, it shows that those who rent are usually in the poorer section of society, but in some cases it may also be a result of spending the entirety of a household’s income on consumption even when some savings may have been made.
The research also shows that the best way to accumulate sizeable wealth is to conduct economic activity. The average value of physical assets owned by the self-employed exceeds 1 mln PLN. Interestingly, half of the 20 percent of the population with the lowest wages have assets worth at least 200 000 PLN. As a result, social stratification is Poland is not as stark as in Western Europe. Moreover, the report indicates how much has changed in the condition of Poland’s rural areas, which have long been considered places of poverty without perspectives. Currently, rural households are 1/3 wealthier than urban ones – although one has to keep in mind that rural households tend to be more populous, which means that there are more people to generate wealth.
However, the situation with regards to the value of accumulated financial assets is still dire – half of Polish households have less than 8 600 PLN on accounts, in shares, bonds and other financial instruments. Therefore, although as a society we have accumulated quite remarkable wealth, our liquid assets, which could be easily spent should circumstances require it, are still very restricted.
Łukasz Kozłowski, economic expert of Employers of Poland