For decades, Polish people have had a strong connection to the United Kingdom. As of 2020, an estimated 827,000 Polish-born people now live in the UK, with the majority of those arriving since 2004, when Poland became a full-fledged member of the European Union.
While many Polish people may have originally moved to the UK for short-term work, hundreds of thousands have decided to make the UK their home, putting down permanent roots and buying property.
By some estimates, as many as 20% of home-buyers in the UK are now of Polish origin, a number that could continue to rise in the years ahead. But where are Polish people in the UK looking to settle down and buy a property? Read on to find out where the UK’s vibrant Polish community has decided to lay down roots.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the UK’s capital and largest city is by far the most popular place for Polish people to buy a property. More than 150,000 Polish-born people now live in London, and it is estimated that tens of thousands of them have acquired property over the years.
Although house prices in London are punishingly high, aspiring homeowners in the city have been able to take advantage of free online mortgage advisory services like Trussle, which helps people in the UK compare mortgage deals so that they can save thousands of pounds. In a city where the average property price is now over £600,000, every little helps.
Some might be surprised that Slough, a somewhat sleepy town in London’s commuter belt, boasts such an international population. As well as the 10,000 Polish people who call Slough home, citizens of dozens of countries now live there too. This is largely because Slough is the location of many large multinational companies, with Blackberry, Burger King, DHL, and Lego having offices in the city. The strong job market is reflected in the local real estate market, with the average cost of a home now standing at £401,000.
Southampton is, by some measures, home to the largest Polish population in the UK outside of London. An estimated 10% of residents of this booming coastal city originate from Poland, many of whom have been credited with helping to revive the local economy of this once-ailing port city. The links between Southampton and Poland stretch all the way back to World War II, which explains why much of the Polish community already owns property there. With house prices currently standing at around £303,000, Southampton remains one of the more expensive coastal towns in the UK.
Given that Birmingham is the second-largest city in England and one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse in Europe, it should come as no surprise that so many Polish people have decided to call the city home. Around 17,000 Polish-born people live in Birmingham, a number that is set to continue increasing over the next few years.
The most popular areas for Polish people to buy a house in Birmingham are Erdington, which has been described by the BBC as ‘Little Poland’, and Walsall. Despite Birmingham’s increasing vibrancy and an improving jobs market, house prices are a little below the national average, at around £215,000.