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Balaton home prices more resistant to market fluctuations

Sustainability

Following the financial crisis, housing prices near Lake Balaton did not decline to the same degree as they did on average nationally, and the pace of price increases is also currently slower, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said in its biannual Housing Market Report, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

Based on a housing price index calculated for the Balaton region, the MNB found that housing prices could be volatile for shorter periods of time than the national average, but over longer periods the opposite is true and prices are more stable.

The central bank said investment motivation may play a major role when purchasing a home around the lake, which over the short term results in the volatility of prices. A large share of the properties around Lake Balaton are holiday homes which do not directly serve residential purposes and are mostly second properties. 

Due to this, a deterioration in income may be compensated for in some households by the sudden sale of a holiday home. 

Those purchasing a holiday home may respond to changes in economic cycles more inflexibly over the longer term, and their motivation to purchase a holiday home may also be independent of cycles, the MNB notes. All of this may explain why the prices of holiday homes around Lake Balaton did not decline to such a degree as in other places. 

In towns around Lake Balaton, the average square-meter price was somewhat above HUF 280,000 in the past two years. The average square-meter price of lakeside residential properties around Lake Balaton was nearly 74% higher than that of rural dwellings not located in resort areas, 54% higher than the square-meter price of dwellings located in county seats, and only 15% below the average square-meter price in Budapest. 

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