Poland appears to be a property investment bright spot in gloomy Europe

Poland is one of the best European property markets despite the credit crunch and likely to experience rising demand, according to two new report.

'The biggest beneficiaries of the growing economy have been major Polish cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk, and regional capital cities such as Szczecin and Rzeszow,' according to the Poland Market Performance Report published by Property Secrets.

'These cities have the strongest economies, with the highest GDP per capita, the lowest unemployment, the highest wages and the strongest job creation in their regions,' it says.

The property market has been helped by stricter lending rules. Unlike Western countries, banks in Poland haven't tightened their lending criteria in the last few months as a result of the credit crunch because the lending rules were already highly conservative.

'Proof of full and permanent employment is very much the norm when applying for a mortgage in Poland and self-employed applicants can find it difficult to meet a bank's criteria,' the report points out.

Prices appear to be stable. 'We see a very strong buying opportunity emerging shortly in Poland before it inevitably comes to the end of its plateau phase and demand will rise rapidly again,' says the report.

'It is likely this second wave of growth will occur first in the biggest cities, most notably Warsaw. This is the pattern we have seen in the Czech Republic, where prices in Prague boomed, slowed, reached a plateau and then entered a strong second growth phase.'

The analysis is backed up by investment company Aston Lloyd which puts Poland as one if its top investment opportunities. 'Poland's housing market is significantly larger than other European emerging markets and mortgages are easier to obtain,' its report says.

Best buys include Warsaw where there is high housing demand and profitable long-stay rental opportunities and Krakow which is well suited for rental investor with a housing supply that does not meet the demands of its high earning population.

The Tri-City – three adjacent towns of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot on the coast of the Gdansk Bay of the Baltic Sea is another opportunity as it attracts considerable inward investment from companies looking to recruit due to its wealth of educated professionals.