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More new homes, declining housing construction sentiment

In the first half of 2020, 8,697 new dwellings were built, 34% more than a year earlier, according to a report by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

The number of homes to be built based on issued dwelling construction permits and simple declarations was 12,475, 32% less than in the same period of 2019. There were already signs of recovery in June.

In Budapest, 1,657 new dwellings were put to use, 22% more, than in the first half of 2019. The number of dwellings put to use increased in villages to a similar extent as in Budapest (23%), while the growth was stronger in cities (40% in towns of county rank, and 47% in other towns).

The proportion of dwellings built by individuals fell from 47% to 45%, while that of dwellings built by enterprises increased from 52% to 54% compared to the first half of 2019.

Some 49% of dwellings put to use in new residential buildings were in detached houses, 43% in multi-dwelling buildings, and 4.2% in residents’ parks compared to the same period of 2019.

The average floor-area of homes put to use decreased by 2 sqm to 96.6 sqm compared to the first half of 2019.

Fewer construction permits issued

According to dwelling construction permits and declarations, the number of dwellings to be built was 12,475, 32% less than in the first half of 2019. 39% of new dwellings are planned to be built in Budapest. Compared to the first half of 2019, the number of dwellings to be built decreased in every settlement category: by 21% in Budapest, by 51% in towns of county rank, by 34% in other towns, and by 25% in villages. Builders used the simple declaration option in 49% of cases.

Compared to the first half of 2019, the number of dwellings to be built on the basis of permits and declarations decreased in the majority of counties, except for Fejér and Veszprém counties, where it increased by 76% and 11%, respectively.

Based on new construction permits, 27% less, i.e. a total of 5,437 residential buildings are planned to be built compared to the first half of 2019. The number of permits issued for non-residential buildings was 1,918, 4% less than a year earlier.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of dwellings to be built based on construction permits and declarations temporarily decreased.

Compared to the same months of 2019, it decreased to two-thirds in March and to just over half in April-May, but by June it approached the level a year earlier (90%).

The decrease in April and May was even stronger in the capital, while in June the number of planned dwellings was almost twice as many as last year.

In terms of the number of dwellings put to use, KSH detected no similar decline: in the second quarter of 2020, 40% more dwellings were completed than in the same period of the previous year.