• Company
  • Budapest
  • Property Management
  • Renovation & Furnishing
  • Budapest Accommodation
    by BPartner
  • Downloads
Real Estate Hungary - Rent luxury and prime accomodation Budapest - Renovation and Furnishing
♦ Ask about Budapest 2012
♦ Facts vs Illusions
♦ Mortgage in Budapest
♦ Infoline
♦ Property Hunter
♦ Change in Management
 EEAG Report - The Hungarian Crisis
 RICS European Housing Review 2012
 New Built Property Market 2011
 Real Estate Market 2012 No upturn yet
 Budapest Property Dilemma 2012



Real Estate Hungary - Open Talk about Budapest Residential Property Market 2010 Bookmark and Share

Open talk about Budapest property market where honest point of views are missing due to vampire players’ power and interest.


How is the Budapest Residential Property Market in 2012?


First we need to look back and see the background of the real property market in Budapest. The key points are, as follows:

1.   Between 2000 and 2004: Budapest property market was targeted by investors who expected property price boom when Hungary was joint the EU in May 2004.


2.       Unrealistic price increase was based on miscommunication from estate agents and mismanagement of investors that caused promising capital growth by 2005.


3.       However, lucrative Budapest investment market were divided by 2 markets:


-          Investor market where prices increased considerably and the higher price the higher capital appreciation model applicable. But it was artificial and unreal capital growth that was going to be stopped. Foreign investors (from Ireland and the UK, for instance) invested through estate agents who mismanaged investors with false market information and miscommunication. Overpriced and over-valuated properties (sometimes properties with unable to resell conditions sold to naive investor who were impressed by downtown of Budapest) purchased by foreigners who were eagerly waiting for nice return and capital growth from Budapest property investments.


-          Local market where folks purchased apartments at significantly lower prices (10%-30%) and they did not have high expectations with capital growth and return. Local market was more sensitive with unrealistic prices and dodgy properties. Locals purchased apartments with lower price in all buildings where foreigners were also interested in. New developments (off-plan) under local and foreign (Irish and British agencies) real estate agents’ co-operation marketed in several property shows (in Ireland and the UK) that helped developers using unfair pricing against foreigners. As a matter of fact 30%-90% (extreme figure in a new development where 70% Irish, 20% other nationalities and 10% Hungarian only) foreign ownerships in Budapest new developments happened because developers were interested in selling apartments with extra profit to foreigners.


-          Between 2006 and 2008 local market and investor market were emerged and overseas property investments (Buy-to-Let Schemes) became a nightmare for those who were ripped off in first decade of Budapest property investment market. NO CAPITAL APPRECIATION SINCE 2005 IN BUDAPEST BECAUSE LOCAL MARKET PRICED PROPERTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH INCOME POTENTIALS IN HUNGARY. Local market priced foreign-owned properties as well which prices usually are not based on value


That is why 2010 was the first year when property prices were communicated in public(both in Hungarian and English):  reached  the level of local market in 2005.  Global changes in financial markets (credit crunch) made reselling potentials more difficult than ever expected. Because prices like 2005 but buying activities are not at the same level due to lack of financing and trust in Hungary, of course. Dodgy investment strategies and partners (greedy agencies British, Irish, Izreali, Hungarian, Spanish) destroyed Hungarian property market reputation which made Budapest property matters tough. Although stand still market with limited resale potential and loss minimisation aspect is very quite at the minute, it shows us some interesting opportunities. But do not believe in 'bull shit' propagande and presentations from estate agents(there are many, anyway) who chase you to buy it now  because dramatic increase in capital value(property prices) reported in 2012. Budapest seems to be cheap in terms of property prices compared to other capital cities in Central Europe. But price is not everything. Liquidity is the key point when money invested and property market liquidity is well presented in property prices of Hungary: lowe price with low liquidity.  In addition, it is true that prices are low but prices are still decreasing slowly (new and existing properties) in general. There is no any particular reason of buying anyting without real valuation.

Burned and desperate investors under financial and emotional pressure are leaving Budapest but market must go on. Everything has changed dramatically but the new property world in Budapest needs to be understood to show us investment opportunities. With respect, it is not a good time to sell, definitely, but it is not a good time to buy either unless you know what to buy, where to you and what price in Budapest. Winds of change has come - dramatic changes since end of 2008 and 2012 is the fourth year when we can probably expect more of the same like before: nightmare for sellers and hard time for buyers due to quality property and good investment shortage. Buyers from abroad can be purchased for cash only because banks does not provide mortgages for them. Investors who had already invested would not take remortgage or equity release in Hungary. That is what it is in 2012 as well!


What are Budapest resell potentials in 2012? Will 2012 hurt resale potentials in Budapest?


Do you intend to sell Budapest property in 2012?Real Estate Hungary- Do you intend to sell Budapest property in 2010?

Please mind that Budapest properties with BELOW MARKET VALUE (at fire sale prices) are most likely to be sold in a certain period of time but realistic market value is almost impossible to be achieved unless the property is strongly demanded on the local market. Resale potential of Budapest apartments may vary in each district but marketed apartments to local demand are ready to be sold only. Demanded apartments are available in all districts of Budapest by locals who are looking for apartments in all price range. Predator investors, of course, are also watching the market to find desperate owners who are willing to make a deal below market value as low as possible in Budapest.

To set resale potential for a particular Budapest apartment, it is to be evaluated as complex as possible. Average development price (new build) or average district price (classic home) can mislead you and they are not recommended to be used at all. Purchasing price, for instance, could be a good starting point unless you paid over the odds. Professional property valuation with selling strategy, eventually, is the key to successful resale in a reasonable timeframe. Overpriced / Over-valuated Budapest properties might be unsold for months/years that would be a disappointment to whom is concerned with.

Unwished Budapest properties might be unable to be sold in 2012 but sellers with good apartmetn are able to make a deal if they accepted selling price in HUF.Weak HUF is good for buyers from abroud but a painfull fact that is to be considered when an invester purchased the apartment in EUR, for instance, and wants to sell in EUR. The difference between buying and selling price is the first obvious answer whether to sell or not.

Solid profit on property sale is still available in Budapest if property with good resale value was purchased before 2005 at local price level. Loss minimisation on property investment will be the goal, otherwise.

Selling Budapest properties in 2012 is strongly recommended only who is desperate and stretched by serious financial pressure. Who is able to finance Budapest property investment in 2012, those investors need to await and keep cashflow from rental well-maintained.

From 2010 mortgage(remortgage and equity release) not available for foreigners which makes complex siutation more complicated for sellers who wants to sell properties to foreigners, for instance. This is not going to be changed in near future:

Captial gain tax (CGT) in Hungary is 25 % but 0% if property is hold for 5 years at least:

- Year 1 CGT = (purchasing price less selling price and deductable charges) x 25%

- Year 2 CGT = [90% x (purchasing price less selling price and deductable charges)] x 25%

- Year 3 CGT = [60% x (purchasing price less selling price and deductable charges)] x 25%

- Year 4 CGT = [30% x (purchasing price less selling price and deductable charges)] x 25%

- Year 5 CGT = 0% applicable for all apartment purchased earlier than 2006

- Deductable charges: Stamp duty, renovation and re-decoration, legal and marketing charges (invoices/receipts required)

Stamp duty in Hungary from 1st of January 2010, as follows:

- Residential property purchasing price upto HUF4 millions: 2 %

- Residentail property purchasing price over HUF4 millions: 4 % (applicable the partial price only, 2% below HUF4 millions added up)

- Commercail property purchasing price upto HUF1 billion: 4%

- Commercial property purchasing price over HUF1 billion 2% but stamp duty is maximised at the level of HUF200 millions

- Car parking space as well as storage is commercial property: 4%


How is the Budapest Rental Market in 2012?Real Estate Hungary - Open Talk about Budapest Residential Property Market 2010


In general, achievable rent has been decreasing and rental potentials restricted. It is not rare when apartments are standing empty for months even if rent is continuously decreasing month by month. Average vacancy period is 3 months approx. but we also have empty apartments for over 6 months.  Keep the apartment rented with making tenant happy is a critical point in the current market environment. To introduce a tenant, more time and extra efforts (more flexibility with organising tours to tenants in the evening/in the morning and at the weekend/holiday) with price negotiation needed.

Thanks to oversupply with furnished apartments in inner districts (5,6,7,8,9), tenants intend to move as close as possible to the heart of City just nearby a metro station. The more well-located property the more chance of having a tenant in a specific time.  Well located does not mean only that you have an apartment in those districts but street, street number (building condition), floor, view are in focus.

Decrease in rental prices had led to more interest for one bedroom apartments compared to studio or 2 bedroom ones. Studio apartment owners are suffering as long vacancy period and low rent level as 2 bedroom ones if rented.

New build one bedroom apartments’ rent in district 6 and 7 has also gone down, they are good alternative rental option compared to classical one bedroom properties, accordingly. Also, huge 1 bedroom (over 70 sq. m) and 2 bedroom (over 90 sq. m) apartments are less desired as well as 3 bedroom by tenants. Tenants are looking for cost effective (reasonable rent with as low utilities as possible) liveable one bedroom apartments in a tidy and well-organised building.

Tenants are spoiled with massive oversupply and low rent for nicely furnished apartments because number of tenants (tenants from abroad, indeed) in Budapest is considerably lower like a couple of years earlier. Decrease in is 25%-30% and shorter lease period also applicable when tenant is in situation. Also, tenants prefer rent in HUF which means considerably lower rent in EUR. Due to fluctuation in FX rates, HUF based lease agreements are often agreed. Apartments with rent in EUR are most likely to be standing empty for longer period.


When is Euro going to be introduced in Hungary? How are the Hungarian Economy Prospects?Real Estate Hungary - Open Talk about Budapest Residential Property Market 2010


Euro introduction is expected to be done within a decade (around 2020) but uncertainty in Hungarian economy performance might have impact on the action. We do not have a crystal ball to see what happens next but changes will be taken place through slow social and economic procedure in long time aspect. Disappointed society with anti-globalism attitude and black economy with political and corporate corruption as well as low income (Average monthly net salary in Hungary = 500 Euro) make the Hungarian Economy prospects questionable in short term.

2011 was the year when Hungarian GDP reached 1.7% but rececssion warning for 2012 was already expected at the and of last year. All in all, 2012 will not bring any positive outlook of Hungary, because stagnated economy is the best scenario for the whole year while economic meltdown and political upheaval in the country . 2012 is the first year when we can see  perspectives and new economy's direction needs to be replaned. The government is under pressure from both poor economy performance and disappointed locals as well as IMF and the EU. Like it or not, we live in interesting times and 2012 will be just as eventful.

GDP growth (yr/yr, adjusted for calendar impact) 11Q4 1.5 %
GDP growth (yr/yr, adjusted for calendar impact)
Budget gap
Base rate
Interest  rate on fixed deposit
Consumer credit in HUF
Corporate loan in HUF
Current account balance (m EUR) 10Q4 365.9 m EUR
Current account balance (m EUR)
General government balance (monthly, bn HUF) 10-12 -486.5
Current account balance (m EUR) 10Q4 365.9
Interest rate on forint-based consumer credit (APR) 11-04 22.56%
GDP growth (yr/yr, adjusted for calendar impact) 11Q4 1.5 %
Inflation (annual consumer price index) 12-01 5.5 %
Inflation (medium-term target) 08-08 3.0 %
Industrial production (working day adjusted, yr/yr) 11-12 6.7 %
Benchmark interest rate 11-12 7.00 %
Retail sales (yr/yr, adjusted for calendar impact) 11-11 1.1 %
Foreign trade balance (m EUR) 11-08 +492.4
Interest rate on fixed HUF deposits (within 12 months, annualised) 11-04 5.0 %
Unemployment rate (average of 3 months before publication) 11-10 10.8 %
Corporate HUF lending rate - short term 11-04 9 %

Source - Last update in February 2012: Portfolio.hu


If you had further specified questions with Hungarian economy and Budapest residential property market, we are pleased to place questions with answers in public.