Buying real estate in Budapest

property in Budapest
Updated 2019-11-05 06:33

Buying a house or a flat can be a good option if you are planning to long term stay in Budapest. However, it is best to have the necessary documentation so as to avoid any hurdles in the process. Here is an insight into the local property market to help you make the right choice.

Property prices in Budapest

The prices of houses and flats are equally high in and around Budapest. According to Hungarian news portal, apartments in the city centre were offered at an average square meter price of 900 thousand HUF, (2,765 €), V. district was the most expensive. On the Buda side, I. district was the 'record-holder' with its square meter prices above 700 thousand HUF (2,150 €), followed by III., XI., XII., VI., XIII. districts where this amount decreased to 600-650 thousand HUF /m². (1,840 – 1,995 €).

Around 20-25 million HUF, you can only get a small studio in the city centre. For a one-bedroom flat, you would need at least 30 million; the price of two-bedroom apartments is starting from 35 million. Of course, the lower prices in each size will mean either the area or the flat itself won't be of the highest standard, and you have to pay even more to get a decent one.

If you are planning to buy a house n Budapest, the situation is even more difficult, as you either have to spend a lot on renovation if you get a cheaper house, or move further away from the city. Prices for a house with two bedrooms and at least 50 m² again are at least 30 million but only in the outskirts. For a more central or Buda location, you have to pay at least 50 million HUF.

Check out some of the property websites below for prices and availability:

Tower Budapest
My Budapest Home

How to buy property in Budapest

Anyone can buy a residential property in Hungary, but a foreigner needs to get a permit first to buy any property, which costs around 200€ and takes one month to get. Hungarian law requires that real estate purchases shall be concluded through private contract (purchase agreement) countersigned by a lawyer. Non-Hungarian citizens are further obliged to obtain the approval of the relevant Administrative Office (Közigazgatási Hivatal) to be able to purchase property as a private person. According to regulations, most foreigners should receive a permit within 2-3 months.

The most important steps for buying a property are below:

Once you have chosen a property, negotiate the price (real estate agents usually over-value their listings). You are highly advised to hire a lawyer/solicitor to assist you in relating procedures. The lawyer represents not only the buyer but also the seller. However, fees are paid by the buyer. Title searches are usually included in the services lawyers offer, so make sure to inquire beforehand. A structural and/or architectural survey of the apartment and building are also recommended.

Once the buyer and the seller come to an agreement, the lawyer is responsible for securing local government approval of the purchase (unless the buyer is setting up a company). Title search and property valuations are then set in motion.

When the title has been declared clear from encumbrances, the lawyer then drafts the purchase agreement. This written contract, countersigned by the lawyer, is necessary to validate the transfer of property. The lawyer then arranges a meeting between the buyer and the seller for the signing of the contract in the presence of a representative of the real estate office.

A deposit of 10% of the agreed price is made as down payment by the buyer. After signing the contract, the buyer also has to pay the lawyer´s and agency fees. Note that the purchase agreement has to be submitted to the nearest land registry office within 30 days of signing.

The closing of the deal usually takes place 60-90 days after initially signing the Purchase Contract. The buyer has the responsibility of informing the seller immediately after receiving the purchase-permission from the Administration Office.

The purchase is then concluded within a week. The buyer and the seller have to sign a Closing Statement which confirms that the purchase price has been settled in totality and the possession has been transferred. However, final registration of ownership rights can take up to six months, even if the buyer is in possession of the property.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.