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Stagnating Residential Property Price Index

D&T
July 24, 2020

Stagnating price indices, fewer transactions and record-high demand in the past few months – these were some of the features of the Hungarian property market in Q2 2020. This period was highly influenced by the socio-economic changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of all the property market indices the one published by the national network of Duna House (DH) has always been the first to give a quick overview of past quarters. This time it was eagerly awaited on account of the changes caused by the Corona virus crisis. The expectations of property agents and of the market that we had referred to earlier were corroborated by the DH Price Index: the property market closed the second quarter of 2020 with stagnating indices on a national level, with slight variations as far as various locations and property types were concerned.

The domestic residential property price index of Duna House has been stagnating at 190 points (nominal) and 132 points (real). Prices of concrete block apartments have been falling all over the country, with the Budapest concrete block index exhibiting the largest decrease of 3 percentage points (7 index points). The hike seen for brick and mortar homes continued, except in Budapest where we saw a slight change in the trend. The frequency and the extent of bargaining was a constant feature of Q2 2020 and exceeded the levels seen previously.

Investor demand is starting to reappear in the capital: in June, 33% of all sales transactions were investment-motivated. This burgeoning tendency can be broken in Q3 by the restrictions introduced on short-term apartment leases. The share of buyers acquiring their first apartment was increasing all over the country; in Budapest it grew by 7 percentage points to 27%. In Q2 2020 the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could already be felt on the property loan market, too. According to Duna House estimates approximately HUF 200 billion residential mortgage contracts were concluded in the second quarter of the year, a decrease of 21% compared to the same period of 2019. Loan market figures were somewhat similar to those of the previous quarter.

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