Prices have got a lot hotter and higher in Budapest throughout the last 18 months, leading some people to email and ask me whether it’s still feasible to get the kind of apartment they have in mind for their budget. The 20 million HUF mark remains a popular entry point into a Budapest property purchase, so let’s give you a quick benchmark by taking a look at what that realistically buys you in today’s market.
I’m jumping around a few of my favourite Budapest property sites while I’m writing this, to give you a new-to-market snapshot in almost real time. My findings sticking to a 20 million HUF budget are…
Could I get a 35m2 studio, in a pretty good building on the 1st floor, with street view, cirko heating, compact kitchen, and a main window looking onto a noisy party street inside the Nagykörút in district VII? Yes, with money left over for a few sets of earplugs.
Could I get hold of anything in district V for 20 million HUF, even in the rougher bit of V near Nyugati railway station? No, I’m afraid not. Even a tiny shoebox tends to breach 20 million HUF after a likely bidding war. And you can do better anyway. The postcode isn’t worth living in a dark damp box for (you may find one apartment at bang on 20 million – then you’ll see what I mean). Change districts! Easy solution.
Could I buy a pretty massive basement in need of lots of work and damp proofing, to transform into my own private live-in ruin pub? Errr, YES!
Could I get a two room flat with a decent layout, at least 60m2, in a good area and building outside the Nagykörút? (This is the apartment that everyone wants!) Short answer, highly unlikley, unless you’re willing to compromise by being on the ground floor. As soon as you get into two room apartment territory the space is much more liveable and so appeals to more people, increasing competition for these spaces, and therefore their asking prices. You might just get one in a less desirable bit of town in a building that needs a lot of renovation (and hope the building will get renovated someday).
Can I still find something just under 50m2 that needs lots of work within reasonable walking distance of the centre? Yes, so don’t despair. You’ll just have to hunt out that diamond in the rough. Keep focussed on what has potential – my 100 tips train your mind in how to spot this potential.
The best advice is to embrace the idea that you’ll need to be creative, and to have a good mental picture of what bare ingredients you want, while also remaining realistic about what you can find out there in the market for your budget. Do you really need that second room? Or could you go super funky with design and space-saving in a studio flat? If size is your main attraction then yard view apartments are cheaper than street view, and focus in on what else you’d be willing to compromise on to squeeze those extra m2 into your budget.
Lots to ponder, but there are still options, even in a high demand climate.
And remember, you just need to be a bit better, a bit sharper, and a bit better prepared than the other potential buyers to win the race to securing the best property in your budget bracket. Start right now putting in that bit of extra effort to give you the edge, and off you go to enjoy your search!