In recent years, the real estate market in Budapest has done exceptionally well. Property prices have substantially surpassed the pre-crisis levels alongside market recovery. Since 2007 – when the country experienced a financial crisis, the real estate market has increasingly been getting busier, every year that passes. To be specific, 2013 was the year that the re-awakening of the Budapest real estate market started, gained momentum in the following year, and has never stopped since then. The central parts of Budapest were the areas that saw a steady increase in property transactions. The reason being, investors – both foreign and local – were aiming to capitalize not only on the short term yields but also property appreciation in the long run. From a national perspective, the western region of Hungary, as well as Budapest’s more central parts, have been thriving, while the country’s eastern region has seen a lower number of property transactions.
In a research conducted in 2016, it showed that out of all the transactions from that year, 38% of those transactions were in Budapest’s residential real estate sector. This research also revealed an interesting insight that both local and foreign investors prefer to invest in the Capital, Budapest, due to the substantial amount of profit that could be realized afterward, whether long term or immediate property value increases. From this research, we realized that smaller apartments, of around 100sqm, are quite popular among real estate buyers. The reason for this is the fact that they are sold in a more efficient manner when compared to larger properties. However, even though short term rentals have increasingly gained popularity, larger classical apartments that can be divided and rented out as separated smaller vacation apartments or rooms have also increased in demand, as they give the landlords immediate high yields.
As the market continues to boom, the prices of property have made a substantial jump. Considering the superb geographical location of Budapest – in the center of Europe; and the fact that in spite of this, it’s cheaper and affordable when compared to other major European cities; and not forgetting that prior to the economic crisis in 2007, property prices had soared to imaginable levels – just within a few years - it’s no wonder foreign property investors are now – when the crisis is over – flocking the Hungarian Capital, even more than in the neighboring cities, making the prices go up substantially. The real estate market in Hungary developed in parallel to the country’s macro-economy, which has enabled a solid economic improvement and growth in the labor market. What’s more, the government’s decision to incentivize property investors to enable them to purchase more properties has increased the demand significantly, which has resulted in an increase in property prices. So, considering these reasons and also eliminating the impacts of the crisis – which affected all European markets – Hungary, Budapest real estate market in particular, has proven to be a resilient and profitable ground for real estate development companies and investors.
The residential real estate sector in Budapest has performed beyond all expectations. In recent years, the market has flourished and has been booming in all regards, and if the massive number of transactions witnessed - from local and foreign entrepreneurs, private investors and developers – is anything to go by, Budapest – which accounts for most of the country’s GDP – is still and will remain the preferred choice in the region for real estate investments.
If the above reasons don’t convince you that Budapest is the best place to buy property, how about this: property transactions in the Capital are very safe and are also super-profitable, with an average return of 6% - 8% on long term rentals, and returns that are much higher from short term rentals – which can go up to 20% if the property is suitably located in a prime location. Also, Budapest is undoubtedly one of the most attractive classical cities in Europe, and it has been like a magnet for property investors for years now, which clearly showed the level of confidence investors have in the city’s property investments. Apart from the many expatriates, students, upper-class locals and tourists residing in Budapest, the city is also the preferred investment location for retiring western Europeans and Americans who pick the city due to its lower costs of living.
For foreign property investors, the chase after yield and the return on investment is what attracts most of them to Budapest, and is also what attracts any other investor to invest abroad. For instance, the rental yield from a long term rental is around 6% in the Pest area, while in the Buda area, it is averaged at around 7%. Typically, these yields are good, very good actually. And if you are to add any possibility of short term rentals, particularly during the summer, the yield will go up to around 10% or even 20% depending on the rental arrangement and location. Moreover, the cost of living in Hungary is pretty low, especially when compared to the neighboring countries. So, if you are an investor and you need to furnish or renovate the property, everything that you will need will be priced according to the economical index in the country, which means that the cost will be much lower.
Obviously, the real estate market in Budapest has grown, expanded, and has seen a substantial rise in property prices over the last couple of years, so you can’t compare today’s prices with the prices from last year or the other year. Yet still, considering the above review and also the current trends in the property sector in the country, the prices are still expected to go up even further. So, our advice would be to invest now, this is the best time to buy some properties in Budapest. The prices will keep increasing, and the longer you continue to wait, the higher the prices will get. Also, investors are expected to keep competing for favorable opportunities in the market, which will, in turn, lead to a steeper increase in property prices. If you decide to invest, ensure that you get a real estate consultant to help you with the process, especially if you are not familiar with the Hungarian real estate market.
As a student, we know that moving to a foreign country can be quite challenging. Before you start living your new exciting life, you will definitely need a place that you can call home, and that perfectly suits your needs. Well, there is no doubt that Budapest is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, and it’s mostly famous due to its historic architecture, excellent universities, beautiful buildings, cafes, bars, restaurants, and its music and culture scene. But as a student, if you are to enjoy this city, finding the perfect apartment can be challenging, but at the same time, quite necessary. With this in mind, let’s make things easier for you; let’s see what you need to remember when renting an apartment in Budapest, so as to help you prepare for your search for the perfect home.
When renting an apartment, the time of the year you are renting really matters. For instance, in the apartment rental market in Budapest, the end of August, July and September are particularly busy. Reason being, this is the time that students, both local and foreign, get to know the universities in which they have been admitted. This boom is mostly experienced in college or universities’ neighborhoods or in districts where the universities are located. So, for property owners, advertising during this period, your property will be easily rented; that is to say, your property could be gone in a matter of days, or even hours. For students, the period between July and the end of September is the best time to look for an apartment, since you will find some good rental flats during this time. Still, you may move to the country at a completely different time, which is also okay. And even though you will have fewer choices, if you are lucky, you will pay less rental fees and you won’t be rushed to make your choice.
Secondly, when renting, pay more attention to the price of the property, in terms of rent and utility bills. In Budapest, property prices have considerably risen in recent years, and for students, unfortunately, rental fees have followed suit. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in downtown locations in the city cost 400-500 EUR in rental fees per month, and it can go up to 800 EUR depending on the location of the building. Essentially, you can also decide to share the apartment with someone, which is also better since you can rent a bigger apartment, for instance, a two to three-bedroom apartment… The price for a two-bedroom range from 800 to 1400 EUR and a three-bedroom apartment ranges from 1000 to 1800 EUR, depending on the building’s location. In other words, before you settle for an apartment, make sure that you calculate the price to ensure it’s a fee that you can pay. Remember, property advertisements in Budapest never includes the total costs for renting the apartment, only the rental fee. There are utilities and common costs that should be included in the rental fee but they aren’t, and it’s important for you to figure this out before renting.
Thirdly, after you find the right apartment and you have the rental fee, you need to sign a rental contract thereafter. For foreign students in Budapest, renting an apartment is more advantageous as most of them want a place to stay for the four or so years they are in school. They don’t need to invest huge sums of money to buy property, and all the costs associated with the purchase. In an ideal situation, renting is beneficial to the tenant and the owner in the long run.
Fourthly, always remember to sign the tenancy agreement. There should be no exceptions about this, not even when the property owner is someone you know or even is your friend. You should never leave anything to chance as it is very dangerous and careless. You always want to be safe and protected, so make sure that you get a copy of the agreement, too. This protects you from being taken advantage of by the owner, where he/she may even disappear with your deposit.
Guideline number five, you should always ask for the property sheet, so as to ascertain the real owner of the property. As a matter of fact, you need to know if the individual renting his/her property to you is the actual owner, or you are about to be scammed. If the owner is a company, the managing director should be the one to present the legal papers to you for signing. If it’s some other individual, let them show you his/her documentation proving that he is legally allowed to act and sign on behalf of the company. The point here is to ensure that your investment is safe and that you are not conned. And something else, refrain from giving money to anyone before signing the real documents. As a matter of fact, if you avoid using cash, the better. Do not rush into this as you can lose money easily if you are not careful.
After all these are done, ensure that you ask any question that you may have with regards to your agreement for clarity. Ask about the rental fees, let the owner explain to you about all the utility bills that you will be paying while in the apartment. Also, let the owner tell you which bills will be paid by you and the ones that he will be paying. The point here is to avoid confusion where you may end up paying more than you should, and that’s why it is important for you to know this information. Thereafter, go through the agreement details such as: lease duration, rent amount, notification period, the deadline for paying the rent as well as the deposit amount. If you have any clarification needed, ask. If everything is clear, then the handover will be next, and from there, it will be up to you to make the apartment your new home. Learn your address and report it to the authorities. After that, live your life and enjoy this beautiful city as much as you can.
If you are considering buying some property in Hungary, and Budapest in particular, you will be pleased to know that the buying process might be easier than you might have anticipated. In this article, we will explore the process to buy a property in Budapest for foreign investors.
The rights of foreigners, and especially those from EU nations, and those of the Hungarian citizens are almost the same. All that you need as an expat is to have a permit, which will cost around 200 pounds and can be obtained from the district council. Obtaining this permit is considered to be a formality and will take a maximum of 6 weeks to be finalized. When talking about foreigners, we are referring to both EU nationals as well as non-EU citizens. However, it is important to note that this particular permit is required more from the non-EU nationals as compared to EU nationals. Reason being, since Hungary joined the EU, that is, back in 2004, it made it easier for the citizens from the fellow EU nations to invest in its property markets. This allowed EU nationals to own property wherever they want in Budapest since the country’s presence in the EU did put EU citizens on an equal footing and are treated equally as the Hungarian citizens. However, for the properties in rural areas, they are only available to Hungarians only at present. Below you will find the requirements for both EU and non-EU citizens for them to invest in the country’s real estate market.
For the EU nationals, once you’ve decided that you want to buy a property in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, there will a series of straightforward events that will have to take place so as to make you the rightful and legal owner. It is also important to note that in most of these process, you will definitely require a lawyer and a realtor company who will help you in every stage in the transactions. The realtors should preferably come from Budapest, as they are the ones to help you locate the ideal place to buy some property, considering that they know the city better.
This entire process takes a maximum of 60 days to finalize, that is, from the contract signing day all the way to the closing process.
Now, with regards to the non-EU nationals, the process is a little bit different and may take a longer period to be finalized. It may take a few more weeks, but the good thing is, the entire process is bureaucratic, and hence you won’t need to stay here, in Budapest, or be present during this period. The Hungarian market is quite favorable towards foreign property investors, which makes the entire process swift and easy to execute, even though it takes time. So basically, the process is as follows:
All in all, whether you are an EU or non-EU national and you are interested in investing in the property markets in Budapest, Hungary, you are more than welcome to seize the opportunities. Budapest, just like its neighbouring cities in the EU, is one of the best destinations for property investors.
As you probably may know, real estate investments can be tough to navigate, especially if you lack the know-how on how to get started. In the real estate sector, there are several pitfalls that could make you lose money fast, especially if you are a first-time real estate investor. By fulfilling your due diligence plus a little guidance, surely you can easily steer clear from the common mistakes mostly made by first-time investors. The following are the most common mistakes that hinder successful property investments in Budapest:
Poor planning – If you are planning to venture into the real estate business in Budapest, you need to have a plan, and not just a plan, a good plan. Property investment can get pricey, and therefore, deciding to buy a house on a whim is poor planning, regardless of how good the deal is. Without proper research and planning, you might find yourself paying more money than you should have on a house that you didn’t need or even a low-quality house. So, when buying a house in Budapest, think about the upkeep, maintenance, and the cost of fixing it up, as well as all the hidden costs associated with property investment. Truth to be told, property investments are quite big, and when you are foreign investor looking to invest in the Hungarian capital, you should ensure that you carefully consider all the essential aspects related to the investment, and more importantly, ensure that you have a good plan.
Not doing enough research – So, here is the thing, there are several nuances that come with owning and selling property in Budapest, and this is what makes property investments to be quite complex. Depending on the property, being aware of the zoning laws or requiring permits for landscape changes may be a necessity. The property you are looking to buy might be located on a disaster-prone environment or a floodplain, which will have an impact on the insurance premiums you will have to pay. As well, the property might have insect infestation or perhaps someone died in that particular house (you may never know). You see, all these details are crucial and since they may not be included in the agreement between you and the seller, there is need to do more research on the property before committing money into it. Not doing enough research on the property you are about to buy maybe one of the worst mistakes you can ever make as an investor, particularly considering that you will be spending money in a foreign country. What’s more, you are new in Hungary, Budapest in particular, you know nothing about the real estate market there, therefore, you need to do a deep dive on the market and the property you are about to buy. This will help you determine whether there are any structural changes that need to be carried out on the property. Also, researching the market in Budapest will help you understand the value of your investment.
Hiring the wrong people – This is another mistake that foreign investors make when buying properties in Budapest. Property investment involves a number of processes and is quite complex, which means that you can’t do it all by yourself. You will need to hire a team of experienced realtors to help you get the best deal possible and in an ideal location within the city. These are the people with the knowledge that you desperately need, and by hiring the right people, you are guaranteed of a successful investment. Now, the problem comes when you hire the wrong people. By hiring the wrong people, you risk losing your money and your property. As well, you may end up paying more than you normally should. So, when doing more research on the properties and the real estate market in Budapest, remember to also research the real estate agency you want to hire to help you with your transactions.
Having a get-rich-quick mentality – Many investors, both local and foreign, have this believe that property investments lead to instant wealth. To be honest, this is far from the truth. This investment takes time and money before they can give you good returns. It will take great patience from you if you are to get anything from your investment, especially if you are considering investing in Budapest. You may find yourself holding your property for a while before selling so as to get better returns. Therefore, as a foreign investor eyeing the Hungarian market, you should take your time and also ensure that you put in extra hard work, and then, the payoff will be worth it. Remember -success takes time- so don’t rush it.
Spending too much – This is a habit that is most common among foreign real estate investors. Due to the desperation of owning property in Budapest, foreign investors will pay a lot of money to ensure that it happens. These kind of purchases are dangerous as you can lose your money in an instant. Anything making you pay more than you anticipated for your property should be avoided in all ways possible. You may find that there are some costs that the realtors forgot to disclose in your initial agreement that eventually emerges. Therefore, in the event there are too many problems with the property that requires you to spend on, you should avoid buying that particular property since you will end spending more money than you had planned for initially.
Ultimately, for you to succeed in the Hungarian property market, it is necessary that you play your cards right. Ensure that you have a good plan in place and also make sure that you do your research diligently and thoroughly. Property investments are quite costly, and when done right, they will generate good returns in the near future. Simple mistakes can cost you a lot of money, so make sure that you avoid them at all costs. Take appropriate steps and you will be headed in the right direction – towards successful real estate investments.
Property investment in Budapest
Property investments in Hungary, and particularly Budapest, have been quite popular among many foreign investors for many years. By itself, this fact alone is a perfect indicator for the stability of the Hungarian real estate market when compared to other European markets, and also for the business potentiality that the Hungarian capital offers global investors who choose to invest in the city. The main reasons which makes Budapest this popular in real estate investments includes: availability of international universities, its strategic location, that is, in the heart of Europe, its tourist attraction sceneries, low cost of living, easy processes of owning properties alongside an active encouragement from the government through incentives, as well as the constant appreciation of property prices.
Now, from a statistical viewpoint, the property rental market in Budapest is hugely active, which presents the investors with both short and long term rental benefits. In the last couple of years, there has been a steady and steep increase in property values, especially in the regenerated areas in the city, which in turn led to extremely high profits for property owners. A major factor that has contributed to this increase is the limited number of available rental properties in Budapest, which is also attributed to the small sizes of the city’s most central areas. Due to this, you will find that in the most sought-after areas of the city, there are no new constructions planned, resulting to a situation whereby, there is a high demand for rental properties in the center of the city on one side and a limited supply of the same on the other.
Being centrally located, the Hungarian capital, Budapest, is a lively cultural and business center and one of the largest cities in Europe and is occasionally referred to as the ‘Paris of Eastern Europe’, due to its extraordinary sights. Property prices in Budapest have increased over the last couple of years, as the country is trying to establish itself again from the global financial crisis that began in 2008. During this period, the city suffered from low-interest rates, lack of incentives to investors, both local and foreign, and also from low property supplies, which in turn soared the prices across the city. But the market has seen prices increment of around 20% since then and also promises a brighter future for property investors.
In all honesty, investing in the property market in Budapest has proven an intelligent decision to many investors, since it balances between low risk, stability and high yield. Foreign investors who invested in the real estate market in Budapest after the crisis in 2008 are today seeing a significant appreciation of property prices, which to them, might just be a bonus considering the fact that they rented their property the entire time during that period, since the rental market in Hungary, Budapest in particular, wasn’t affected by the micro effects that much. As well, on a regional collation, Budapest can be compared to cities such as Prague and Warsaw where the prices of properties are substantially higher. Therefore, when you look at it from the appreciation perspective, purchasing a property in Budapest is the best decision as it will bring you much higher returns when you sell it. Moreover, contrary to the other regions’ governments, the Hungarian government blocked the country’s borders during the most recent immigration crisis, thus guaranteeing a higher level of security and also a homogenized population, which are all favorable to property investors.
The other benefit is the presence of some of Europe’s most famous universities in the city, where foreign students attend to gain advanced degrees in areas such as veterinary, engineering, medicine, psychology, business management and many more. These professions take years to be completed and based on the country’s inflation, the tuition fees have increased in recent years, and so are the rental prices. This has led to more and more students buying properties in the city during their 3rd or 4th year into their degrees, which has enabled them to save on rental charges, finance their academic tuition, and most importantly, own a property in Budapest after they complete their studies. By them owning some property ensures the growth of the real estate sector in Budapest and Hungary in general, and the investors will have many clients to sell their property to. What’s more, from a risk management perspective, property investments in Budapest is a low-risk opportunity due to the massive economic growth experienced in the country.
On the downside, there are a few barriers to property investment in Budapest, and especially for new investors. They include:
So, in conclusion, we can say with the highest degree of certainty that buying a property in Budapest is the best investment move you will ever make as an investor. The property market in this city is at its best as the number of expatriates, tourists, students, and visitors who are coming to this city have risen in recent years. This has, therefore, increased the number of investors buying properties in Budapest, which makes the city the ideal place to invest in. As a matter of fact, the city is growing and pretty soon, everybody will want to own some property in it, and those who have moved the first and already have bought some properties will be the happiest and the luckiest people in the country.