Property acquisition by third-country citizens has to be licensed, based on this list, the Chinese buy the most real estate in Hungary year by year. Even if we count the citizens of the European Union, Chinese people are still in the top three.
Based on the latest accessible statistics by the Central Statistics Office next to Germans and Romanians, the Chinese bought over 1,000 pieces of real estate in Hungary in 2017. With most of the purchases having been made in Budapest, the Chinese stand out by far in terms of purchase price: they spent an average of over €125,735 per one piece of housing two years ago.
According to Károly Benedict, if they buy bigger family houses in the right places, then real estates priced €306,671-613,343 are not uncommon among them. They usually look for the more expensive apartments as well. Considering today’s price level in Budapest, that means the €153,336-245,337 price range.
While members of other nations, like Russians, Austrians, Germans are active members on the summer house market on Lake Balaton, Asians almost exclusively only look for housing in Budapest. On the one hand, most of them are bound there by their jobs; on the other hand, public transportation is vital for them and their families.
“Because of this, they do not even really think about agglomeration,” explains Károly Benedikt. The most appealing places for them are the districts of Budapest and the areas surrounding international schools. They also like resorts with bigger family houses, where more generations could move in together. The 16th district of Budapest is the perfect example of this, which has been a favourite of the Chinese for a long time. In terms of investments, districts downtown and districts with new apartments are popular among them.
According to the head of analytics, it can be generally said that Chinese people look for housing in good condition and with good lighting. South, south-west is the ideal placement for them, based on fengsuj too.
Benedikt says, because of convenience, they do not like to deal with renovations. Interestingly, they do not wish to climb many stairs or use the elevator too much either, so they do not insist on top floors. “If they like a piece of real estate, they will gladly bargain, and even buy it fully furnished,” he summarised.
According to Benedikt, like every group of foreigners, Chinese people like to live close to one another. “In some resorts, streets or buildings, we can find more than one Chinese family,” he says.
“When it comes to newly built projects, this is a selling point as well. Usually, agents show several Chinese buyers the same new buildings, so if they like one, they can easily buy more than one apartment per person,” Károly Benedict points out.
Zoltán Gadanecz, founder and owner of GDN Ingatlanhálózat, calls our attention to standing on more than one leg as well. “According to a Chinese saying, if you have several eggs, you should not keep them all in one basket, because if the basket drops, they will all break. If someone has more money today, they not only try to buy their own home but get a house and later a business space as well,” says the expert.
The network meets many Chinese clients who already own real estate in Italy or other EU states near Hungary. However, Gadanecz notes, that more and more Chinese people have a life in Hungary while still commercialising with their home country.
“The Chinese like to work with their fellow countrymen, whether it means business, market or restaurant. They try to surround themselves with Chinese employees. They have to accommodate them, then when they see too that they can make a living here, they buy their own homes,” Zoltán Gadanecz describes the typical situation.
Big advertising websites are experiencing Chinese interest as well. Ingatlan.com told Magyar Nemzet, that in the past year about 20-30% more people searched their sites from China. Most of the people interested are obviously from bigger cities — such as Peking or Shanghai — and nearby. Almost one-third of the searching are 35-44 years old. According to the advertising site, the characteristics of the interests have not changed much in the last two to three years, meaning the searches are still concentrating mainly on Budapest. Firstly houses in the 2nd and apartments in the 5th district are in focus, usually between €153,336-245,337.