Budapest, January 18 (MTI) – The government is planning a National Home Building Society modelled on British building societies, cabinet chief Antal Rogan said on Monday.
Stable economic growth and a low budget deficit over the past few years have given leeway for the government to launch a home-building scheme, Rogan told journalists at a roundtable. The government also regards new home building as a priority after some fallback in the sector in the past, he added.
A new element in these efforts is setting up a state-backed national home-building society in competition with existing private home-related savings schemes, Rogan said.
Whereas 1 million people have put savings into home-related savings funds to which the government added about 50 billion forints (EUR 158m) in grants annually, not much of these savings are turned to new-builds, he said. “The national home-building society will resolve this issue, and anyone who joins and saves should be able to build a home within ten years,” he said.
The related bill could go before parliament on Tuesday or Wednesday, and after about a month of debate, parliament will be able to hold a vote in mid-March, he said. The society should start operating in earnest in 2017.
The government has already offered support to families for building or buying a new home as well as reducing the VAT on home construction and simplifying building permission processes, Rogan said. He said the government will have to fight the European Union on the VAT cut, but it will argue that it is modelled on a similar Polish measure already approved by the European Commission. Rogan said the government also plans to ease conditions further on home subsidies, for instance regarding the value and comfort level of the intended new property.
The government expects that 16,000 new homes could be built this year. There are sufficient funds in the budget even if demand for the subsidy is at the maximum, he said. It is also hoped that construction professionals now working abroad will return to Hungary in response to a boosted market, he added.