Smaller second-hand properties for sale in Budapest have become more expensive than average over the past year, with the price of studio flats now reaching around HUF 1 million (EUR 2,450) per square meter, according to an analysis published by Hungarian real-estate website Ingatlan.com on Sunday.
As the analysis shows, the average price per square meter for panel studio flats is 957,000 forints (EUR 2,350), while for brick ones the figure is even higher at 1.04 million forints (EUR 2,550). For both types of flats, the recent price increase is well above 20 percent.
Meanwhile, the price per square meter of one category larger, i.e. 40-79 square meter panel flats, has risen by 30 per cent to HUF 780,000 (EUR 1,900). For brick houses, the same size apartment has a price per square meter of HUF 1 million.
At the same time, the rise in prices of apartments with a larger floor area is below average, which also foreshadows changes in the housing market in the coming period, according to the analysis.
László Balogh, chief economic expert at Ingatlan.com, attributes the appreciation of smaller apartments to more uncertain economic conditions, rising everyday expenses due to accelerating inflation, and caution related to changes in utility regulations. He noted that the popularity of flats is also due to their lower utility costs due to their smaller floor area, and that they are also the most sought-after by investors fleeing the property market due to inflation.
Hungary has had a reduction in utility costs for several years, which has resulted in some of the lowest utility bills in Europe for families. However, in the wake of the energy crisis, the government has changed the rules of the cuts, so that only those below the average consumption level can get energy at reduced prices. Those who consume above this level have to pay the so-called residential market price, which is still much lower than the actual market price.
However, the changes have also led to more people taking their consumption more seriously and a revival of interest in smaller homes and panel buildings.
Panel buildings typically have district heating, which is currently still fully covered by the utility costs reduction measures, so residents do not have to worry about skyrocketing prices there yet.
Meanwhile, the energy crisis has also affected the housing market in such a way that there is growing interest in renewable energy homes and solar panel systems. At the same time, however, demand for gas-fired homes is falling sharply, partly because of sustainability and partly because of soaring gas prices.
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