Although the number of newly built apartments have decreased in number, the existing housing stock has improved, and there are more apartments with more than three rooms than in 2011.
The number of housing stock had grown at a much slower rate in the past five years, which can be explained by the effect of the 2008 economic crisis on the Hungarian construction industry. There are significant differences between the different regions of the country: the number of new apartments had grown in central-Hungary, while in most other regions the number of new apartments have decreased since 2011. It was only in Pest and Győr-Moson-Sopron counties that the growth was measured above 2 percent. In nearly half of the country’s counties they registered fewer real estates than in 2011: in these counties the number of the newly built apartments could not counterbalance the defunct houses.
The number of empty, seasonally inhabited apartments or houses not used for habitation had grown in 2016 by 1 percent when compared with 2011, and by 3 percent when compared with the data of 2001, with such apartments making up 12 percent of the real estate. According to the KSH survey 107 thousand apartments are uninhabited in Budapest.
The survey explains this phenomenon with several factors; including the decreasing Hungarian population, the aging population in small towns, the lack of work opportunities in small towns which leads to migration, and the number of real estates used as holiday property, as well as metropolitan apartments used as office spaces. The greatest growth in uninhabited apartments was measured in the counties of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Komárom-Esztergom and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok. In Budapest, and in the counties of Pest and Győr-Moson-Sopron the inhabited apartments have outnumbered the count of the last census.
The micro-survey had also revealed, that during the past 5 years the number of apartment-rentals have grown by 1.5%: in 2016 90 percent of those who lived in an apartment also owned the property; 8.3% was renting the apartment; and 1.4% inhabited the space on different legal grounds.
However, owning a property continues to be the most popular method of using an apartment in Hungary. According to the survey, this can be explained by the relatively high rental prices compared with the average income, while council estates for rent are scarce. Proportionately, most people rent their apartments in Budapest, in county seats and in towns with county rights. In other towns and municipalities the rate of ownership is higher than average, and rental is not typical.
In 2016, a third of the properties had three rooms, 32% had two rooms, and 29% had four or more rooms, while only 6.6 percent were one-room apartments. During the last five years the rate of one- and two-room-apartments had decreased, while the rate of four-room-apartments had grown by a considerable rate. The number of one-room apartments is higher in Budapest than the country’s average.
An interesting development of the past years is that the average size of apartments had grown with six square meters in the country: the average size of an apartment was 84 square meters. The rate of apartments that are greater than 100 square meters had grown remarkably; every third or fourth apartment in 2016 belongs to this category.
One-room apartments are more wide-spread in Budapest, as the number of apartments that are smaller than 40 square meters is three times the national average (15 percent), as most apartments are an average 69 square meters, which is the smallest in national average.
While the average size of the apartments had grown, these spaces are more densely populated in comparison with the 2011 data: while last year an average 249 person lived in a hundred apartments, this number was only 248 five years ago. The least densely populated apartments were in Budapest (with 215 persons/ 100 apartments).
When compared with the 2011 information, the quality of the apartments has improved considerably, based on the survey. Last year over 94 percent of the apartments were fully equipped or had central heating. Also, apartments in the lowest two comfort categories had decreased by 30 percent, compared with the data collected five years ago.
Nearly two-thirds of the apartments were built with brick, and block of flats make up 14 percent of the national average. Budapest houses most block of flats, where they take up 25 percent of the houses.