Budapest is often compared to its neighbouring capital city, Vienna. Much of that comparison consists of Vienna’s continuing success in topping various “most liveable cities” lists: but how do the two cities compare when we take a look at the prices of newly built apartments? Do the residents of Vienna also have better opportunities when it comes to buying new flats or does Budapest have an edge in that regard?
To conduct this little experiment, portfolio.hu chose projects from both cities with roughly similar locations and sizes. The project in Vienna is called “TrIIIple” and consists of three tower blocks a bit further away from the river Danube, 300-400 metres from the nearest underground station. The blocks are 30-33 metres tall, and flats vary greatly from studios to 5-room apartments. The chosen project for Budapest is called Metrodom Panorama, one of the several newly commissioned housing projects in the city, and is also made up of tower blocks (albeit smaller ones) that are by the river and close to an underground station. Flats are between 30 and 150 square metres.
Naturally, apartments in Vienna are more expensive: both used and new. However, the differences in prices are exciting. Used apartments tend to be 2-3 times more expensive than in Budapest but what’s the matter when it comes to newly constructed flats? Does the price difference remain roughly the same?
What is obvious is that construction costs in Budapest are much higher today than they were a few years ago and that’s due to rampant labour shortage in the country.
The cheapest flat in the Budapest project costs 34 million forints while the most expensive is valued at almost 154 million. On the other hand, Vienna boasts flats between 72 million and 544 million forints respectively. The overall cheapest flat in Budapest operates with a price of 1 million forints per square metre, and the average cost is around 800 000 – 1 million per square metre. Taking a look at the project in Vienna, we see an average price of 1,5 – 3 million forints per square metre: meanwhile no flats in the Budapest project, not even the most expensive ones, really pass the 1 million/square metre threshold. This all means that in the lower quartiles the prices in Vienna are double than that of Budapest while the higher-end flats see a threefold difference.
Now, does this mean that Vienna is automatically more expensive than Budapest? It certainly does, but wages actually reflect this difference (average wages are 2-3 times higher in Vienna) if not overcompensate: this results in various research showing that getting a new flat is actually easier in Vienna than in Budapest.