Monday, June 21, 2010

Hungary Property, Eastern Europes Quiet Gem

Overseas property buyers are now accustomed to new markets in the property world and the potential of the 'emerging' countries in the east of Europe. In fact, if you talk to people about buying property in Bulgaria or Poland now, the response is likely to be more a knowing nod than a puzzled raised eyebrow.
Many of these countries have been battling amongst themselves for the attention of the media and buyers in order to grab as much of the investment cash as they can as quickly as possible. However, while the market for buying property in Hungary seems to have been quieter than most of its neighbours, it still attracts far higher numbers of overseas property buyers each year.
Research from brokerage firm DTZ indicates that turnover in Hungary's property market increased by more than two-and-a-half times between 2006 and 2007 to reach €2 billion. Hungarians accounted for just three per cent of this total, while Germans made up 14 per cent, and Austrian and French buyers each generated 13 per cent of transactions.
Much of this growth appears to be based around the fact that buyers in Hungary tend to have at least part of their investment based around a lifestyle purchase, and are therefore more inclined to choose properties that they will be happy to live in themselves. Part of this is because the local buying regulations allow private individuals, upon a successful application for a permit to buy, to purchase just one property each. Any investors who wish to buy more than one property have to first form a Hungarian limited company.
EU accession, achieved in May 2004 was the starting point for the growth in demand for property in Hungary, and to begin with, Budapest was the focus of virtually all of the activity in the market. While the ancient city is still experiencing the highest demand for buying property in Hungary, there has been something of a shift in how people are buying in the capital.
Of course, the two parts of the city, old and traditional Buda on one side of the Danube, and modern, bustling Pest on the other. The winding streets and alleyways of the old town of Buda have become popular with people looking for the more traditional experience of owning in Hungary, while Pest is better for buyers who are looking for a larger, more modern property. Both parts of the city are well-served by the extensive and efficient public transport system.
While 65 per cent of the real estate activity in Hungary takes place in Budapest, the importance of the shores of Lake Balaton to the overseas property market in Hungary is growing. Even before Ryanair started to operate direct flights from the UK to the FlyBalaton airport in the region, property prices had started to climb considerably. In the past couple of years, however, the value of property by the lake has been appreciating by around 20 per cent per year.
Property styles in this part of Hungary vary from the traditional houses of the rural land to more modern developments built specifically for the overseas property public. There are even opportunities to buy land for development to build your own dream property should you wish.
Hungary may not have had the most explosive introduction into the overseas property market, unlike some of its neighbours, but the growth that buyers in Budapest and Lake Balaton have seen in recent years is proving to be both lasting and based upon solid economic foundations. Also unlike some of it neighbours, Hungary seems to have avoided the worst excesses of corruption and organised crime that have afflicted some of the other recent converts to capitalist democracy. This augurs well not only for the future of the real estate industry, but also for the position of Hungary as a contributing member of the EU in years to come.
(ArticlesBase SC #447246)

Pauline Felward - About the Author:
Find out more about buying property in Hungary and get impartial advice about property abroad in markets around the world, from Pauline and other experts at