Matolcsy urges sustainable housing policy
National Bank of Hungary (MNB) governor György Matolcsy presented a laundry list of flaws he found with the governmentʼs housing policy and pressed for a new, sustainable strategy in an opinion piece published on Novekedes.hu on Monday, state news wire MTI reports.
Matolcsy acknowledged that the governmentʼs housing policy, launched in 2014, was founded on successful management of the crisis, a fiscal turnaround, and the phasing out of Swiss franc-denominated retail loans, but he said the policy was "hemorrhaging" from the start.
He complained that no state organ had been put in charge of the policy, the policy lacked a tried and tested strategy, and it applied lopsided tools that boosted demand but not supply, thus creating inflation. There was no coordination with regional policy, transport developments, construction and building materials industry investments, and vocational training; the policy was not environmentally friendly, it favored owners over renters, and it ignored international policy examples.
Matolcsy noted that the supply-demand mismatch had pushed up home prices in Hungary by 104% since 2014, and by 184% in the capital alone.
He urged decision-makers to see housing policy as a national reserve and called for the establishment of a government organization dedicated to creating "a vision, a strategy and a sustainable home market". This will require the government and the home industry to reach a consensus on housing policy, he added.
In recent years, Hungaryʼs government has rolled out a number of measures supporting home purchases by families with children. It also temporarily lowered the VAT rate on home construction from 27% to 5%.
SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL
Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.