In 2019, about 7,000 apartments were purchased in Hungary by foreign people, 4.5% less than a year earlier. The composition of buyers was more or less the same as in previous years: the most buyers were from Germany, closely followed by Chinese buyers, but the largest increase was among Vietnamese buyers, shows the report of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office.
Portfolio says that after a slight decrease, foreigners bought almost 7,000 apartments in Hungary in 2019, 4.5% less than in 2018. The composition of buyers was similar to previous years. Most buyers were German; the number of apartments bought by Germans was almost a tenth higher than the previous year. The number of Chinese buyers slightly decreased, but they accounted for the second most populous group of foreign buyers.
In contrast to the country statistics, in Budapest, the Chinese were the most prevalent buyers, while the number of Vietnamese buyers increased by more than a third.
On the other hand, buyers from the neighbouring countries declined as Romanians and Slovaks bought 16% and 14% fewer apartments respectively than in 2018.
Buyers from different countries also have different market behaviours. While German, Dutch, Belgian, Swiss, Romanian, and Slovak buyers are mainly interested in rural, and therefore cheaper, real estate, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Israeli buyers are more interested in apartments in Budapest, especially in the more expensive downtown area. To put it in numbers, 98% of the 348 Vietnamese buyers bought real estate in Budapest.
Who and how much do they spend?
While buyers from the Netherlands spent an average of 11.5 million forints (~€31,500) on real estate, Vietnamese buyers spent much more, over 60 million forints (~€164,300).
Apart from them, the Chinese and the French also bought from the more expensive segment; the buyers of both nations spent almost 50 million forints (~€137,000) on the purchased apartment. Austrians mostly bought real estate near the western border of Hungary, for an average of 24 million forints (~€66,000). The average spending of Romanian buyers was only 13 million forints (~€36,000). This was among the lowest, as they mostly bought real estate in the eastern parts of Hungary, where real estate prices are much lower. The Dutch spent even less, and they mostly bought real estate in small towns in Southern Transdanubia.
It is also interesting to look at the number of buyers over the age of 65, i.e. those who are retired. Among the Swiss, German, and Dutch, who bought real estate predominantly in the countryside, the rate of buyers over 65 was around 20%. The Vietnamese and Chinese were looking for exceptionally high-value apartments, mainly in the capital, just as Israeli buyers, who were also mainly interested in apartments in Budapest. They have spent around the average price level of the capital.
Foreign presence is strongest in the city centre
The purchase of properties by foreign citizens amounted to a total of 208 billion forints (~€570 million), which accounted for 6.9% of the total housing market turnover in 2019.
In Budapest, this ratio was much higher; 12% of the total value of the housing market turnover, 143 billion forints (~€392 million), came from foreign individuals. 75% of the total amount spent by foreigners in the capital was spent in just seven districts (Districts II, V-IX, and XIII).
In the central districts (Districts V-IX.), on average, 30% of the total amount spent on properties was accounted for by foreigners.