Housing website for Hungary


Housing. Housing shortages were constant in Hungary for decades after World War II, despite the million housing units built by the state in urban centres from …


Housing Index in Hungary increased to 99.20 Index Points in the third quarter of 2008 from 84.50 Index Points in the second quarter of 2008. Housing Index in …

www.globalpropertyguide.com › Europe › Hungary

A glance at changes in property, house and real estate prices in Hungary.


Finding a nice place to live is always difficult. Hungary is no exception – getting the right accommodation can be hard, especially in the larger cities. Read our …


EUR 450 / month – 1 BR – Renovated, Stylish, Quiet, Furnished, Great View – Short term also ok pic – Budapest (Downtown, 5th Distri) – apts/flats avail.

With no nearby mountains to entice the skiing fraternity and not one inch of sun-drenched coast, Hungary has kept a low profile among the holiday set.

But this unassuming nation — sandwiched between seven countries, including Slovakia and Austria — has other delights to offer: friendly people, low crime rates, cheap living and even cheaper houses.

Hungary boasts one of the most alluring capitals in the world, too. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Danube, Budapest’s elegant architecture, fine restaurants and apartment-dominated property market decorate the great river.

Delightful: Budapest has many affordable properties – and they’re even cheaper outside the capital

Delightful: Budapest has many affordable properties – and they’re even cheaper outside the capital

‘Two-bedroom apartments in classic buildings are spacious and cost from £65,000,’ says Richard Holmes, of Gateway Properties, based in the capital.

Prices are down 15 per cent from the peak years, says Holmes, but he expects the market to start recovering soon. ‘It should prove to be a good long-term investment, and the rental market is buoyant: six per cent rental yields are realistic for an apartment in good condition within a popular location.’

Outside Budapest — which is serviced by several budget airlines offering return flights for less than £100 — prices tumble. Rural properties in southern and eastern Hungary can be snapped up for as little as £10,000.

Most British buyers are drawn to the Lake Balaton region.

Just over an hour’s drive from the capital, it’s estimated that more than 1,000 Brits own holiday homes around the lake, which is the largest in Central Europe.

Famous for watersports, thermal spas and a shoreline punctuated with popular resorts, it’s an area of natural beauty. A national park dominates the landscape to the north, with vineyards covering volcanic hills.

The lake is a magnet for holidaymakers, 70 per cent of which are Hungarian. Here the average weekly wage is £100, so restaurants and hoteliers have to price accordingly.

Norman, 68, and Margaret Bradford, 64, have lived near the village of Cserszegtomaj for six years. They were planning to return home to Britain after a fruitless fortnight house-hunting when they saw a plot of land for sale.

‘We have 1,500 sq metres, including our own vineyard.

We knocked down an old farmhouse, retained two wine cellars we found and built a two-bedroom bungalow on top,’ says former oil worker Mr Bradford, who spent £36,000 on the plot and a further £50,000 on the bungalow.

Bakony Forest


For sale: A four-bedroom house in Balcony Forest (£136,000, properties-in-hungary.co.uk) and a two-bedroom flat in Budapest (£79,000, gatewayproperties.co.uk)

The Bradfords’ daughter, Rhonda, is smitten by Balaton too. Last year, she bought a four-bedroom detached house near her parents and intends spending her five weeks’ annual holiday at the £21,000 property with her husband.

‘One of the great things about rural Hungary is that most properties come with plenty of land. Our plot is around 2,000 sq metres,’ she says.

Rhonda isn’t planning to rent out her cottage as a holiday let.

‘We don’t need the rent to pay for it because it was so cheap,’ she says.

‘It’s unbelievable to think we paid so little for a property spread over three floors.

‘I love the friendly people and the wonderful landscapes.

The Balaton Uplands National Park is a five-minute drive and there are plenty of amenities nearby, even including Lidl, Tesco and Safeway.’

The house-buying process was straight-forward and the family all appreciate the lower cost of living.

‘It might change if Hungary joins the euro, but both of us can eat out and enjoy a bottle of wine for £12,’ says Rhonda.

Like much of Europe, the country’s economy has suffered in the recession. Government-imposed austerity measures in late 2006 have helped slice the budget deficit from over 9 per cent of GDP in 2006 to 3.8 per cent in 2010. After an economic contraction in 2009, finances bounced back last year, with growth above 2.5 per cent expected in 2011.

Hungary has much going for it. Although modern in many respects, its unspoilt countryside and the pace of life is reminiscent of Britain 30 years ago

Steve Davies, who has 700 properties on his books, sells around 85 a year, many to British buyers. ‘Eighty per cent are interested in holiday homes, often two- bedroom farmhouses with half an acre of land within 30 minutes’ drive of Lake Balaton. Properties like that can cost as little as £25,000.’

Prime lakeside locations usually attract a £100,000-plus price tag.

But while prices next to the lake have been flat for the past two years, rural properties within a short drive have seen steady 6 per cent increases in recent years.

‘Compared to neighbouring countries, such as Croatia, prices here are still 40 per cent cheaper.

The Hungarian market is far less volatile than most of Europe,’ says Davies, who regards cheap running costs as a major plus point.

‘For a typical holiday home, you can expect to pay around £300 a year, including £50 council tax.’

Renovation projects can be picked up for as little as £10,000. And with labour rates as low as £30 a day and major DIY stores dotted around Hungary, it’s relatively easy and low cost to renovate, as Lyn and Chris Couldwell, from Dorchester, Dorset, found.

In 2010, they bought a two-bedroom detached property near the town of Enying, 20 minutes from the shores of Lake Balaton, for £22,000. They spent a further £11,000 renovating it. As it is only two hours’ flying time from Britain, Lyn and Chris, a 42-year-old carpenter, often enjoy weekend breaks at the cottage.

Hungary is ideally suited for exploring Europe.

Although landlocked, the Adriatic is only two hours away and Vienna is accessible in an hour. Steve Davies expects property prices to increase in the coming years.

‘Especially around Balaton and rural areas, simply because they are out of line with the rest of Europe,’ he says.

Hungary has much going for it. Although modern in many respects, its unspoilt countryside and the pace of life is reminiscent of Britain 30 years ago.

Davies says: ‘People in Hungary have a different outlook on life, they’re more focused on traditional family values. It’s a wonderful place.’

Housing shortages were constant in Hungary for decades after World War II, despite the million housing units built by the state in urban centres from 1956 to 1985. In the immediate postwar period, Hungary maintained an average of three persons per room, a rate that eventually dropped to one per room by the mid-1990s. Moreover, by the late 1980s, electricity was available for nearly the entire population (it had been in fewer than half of Hungarian homes in 1949, when apartment houses were nationalized), and running water was available for more than three-fourths of homes. The construction of private homes, which had increased in the 1960s and ’70s, constituted more than four-fifths of all construction by the mid-1990s, as housing became part of the market economy.

In the 1990s, as the cost of home ownership and rents soared, the housing market became increasingly polarized. The lower class continued to live in shabby, prefabricated, and often deteriorated apartments, while the upper class occupied expensive apartments or villas that approximated Western standards both in their construction and in their internal outfitting. High-quality housing was bought not only by Hungary’s nouveaux riches but also by many Westerners, among them a significant number of permanent or seasonal repatriates.

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