The National Residential Property Price Index of Duna House representing the overall average closed at a record high 231 points nominal again in Hungary in the first quarter of this year. In real terms, the increase was slower and the index currently stands at 144 points, compared to the previous 135, according to the latest Duna House Barometer.
Offering insight based on actual sales transactions, this Duna House index is the first on the market to indicate the direction, rate and speed of changes in residential property prices in Hungary.
Its executive summary states that nationally, both the concrete block and the brick and mortar price indices are exceptionally high compared to the previous quarter. At the regional level, the most significant change was observed in the concrete block index both in the capital and in the Eastern and Western Hungary regions.
According to Duna House estimates the real estate market is still in an upswing phase, with a total of 39,156 transactions in Hungary in Q1 2022, which is the second strongest start to the year in the last 10 years. The number of sales is being boosted by strong investor activity, which is the main reason for buying nationwide, in addition to the rising interest rates on loans and the fact that new home purchase subsidies are still securely in place.
Real estate remains a good investment in the current uncertain economic environment, and the booming of investment activity is also reflected in the shift in the interest in various districts of Budapest, with more and more attention focused on the downtown city area.
The Duna House Demand Index shows a slight drop in demand in March compared to the shorter February, but the change is not significant – some people may have decided to wait out the elections and the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The square meter price of new housing exceeded HUF 1 million forints already in 11 Budapest districts between January and March this year. Despite the price hike, this type of property is still selling well, with 72% of new homes coming on the market finding a new owner almost immediately.
Quarterly transaction data show that the real estate market has not only expanded but also accelerated, with pre-owned houses and apartments taking less time to sell than in the first quarter of last year. The average price per square meter of concrete block apartments grew significantly in the entire country; the average price per square meter in the capital increased by 24% in Buda and by 18.7% in Pest at the beginning of 2022.
Brick and mortar homes were offered at higher prices throughout Budapest than this time last year; that said, the average price per square meter of these properties decreased both in Eastern and Western Hungary. Due to strong demand, Duna House does not expect nominal prices to fall in the coming period. Apparently, there is a shift in progress on the residential property market, with a significant increase in new build prices expected to lead to more home seekers opting for a pre-owned or rental alternative, thus supporting the rental market underlying the strong investor demand.
The mortgage market has expanded along with the housing market. Based on the factual data published by the National Bank of Hungary and the estimates of Duna House for recent months the quarterly volume was HUF 320 billion, up 37% compared to Q1 2021. According to data recorded by Duna House Finance. the average loan amount increased in all areas of the country between January and March 2022. Market trends show that the growth rate of the number of loan applications even surpassed that of loan disbursements, so we expect to see very strong loan market figures for the coming months.
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