Residence Permit
March 8, 2024
Reading Time: 6 min

How to get a Hungary residence permit by buying real estate

When purchasing an apartment or a house in Hungary, foreigners can obtain a Hungarian residence permit valid for 10 years. However, only properties valued at over €500,000 qualify.

hungary residence permit by buying property in 2024
How to get a Hungary residence permit by buying real estate

Specifics of obtaining a Hungary residence permit by purchasing real estate

The Hungarian legislation allows foreign property buyers to obtain a residency in the country through the Hungary Golden Visa program. The procedure involves four main steps: applicants obtain a Guest Investor Visa, travel to Hungary, purchase real estate, and then apply for a residence permit.

To qualify, an investor must purchase residential property valued at a minimum of €500,000. The signed purchase and sales agreement must stipulate that the investor cannot resell the property for at least 5 years.

The applicant is required to pay a stamp duty of 4% on properties valued under €2.6 million and 2% on the amount exceeding this value. Additionally, they must secure medical insurance and demonstrate financial sufficiency for travel and living expenses for their entire stay in Hungary.

The Hungarian residence permit, obtained through property investment, is initially granted for 10 years to both the main applicant and their family members. This status may be extended for an additional 10 years, provided the investor maintains ownership of the property.

Hungarian property market trends

Property prices in Hungary have almost tripled since 2015, according to the Central Statistical Office of Hungary. In Q3 2023, new dwellings were 29% more expensive compared to the same period of 2022.

Hungary residence permit by buying real estate 2024
In 2015—2023, the Hungarian property market saw a significant increase in prices for both primary and secondary real estate

The Budapest real estate market is expanding. Although there was a decline in the number of properties sold throughout Hungary in 2023, the decrease in Budapest was more moderate compared to other regions. Additionally, Budapest was the only city to see an increase in real estate transactions by the end of 2023.

Prices for new dwellings in Budapest increased by 10% compared to 2022. In districts III, XI, XIII, and XIV, where new housing was sold in large volumes, the cost per square metre was €3,900.

Meanwhile, prices for second-hand housing decreased by 8.5%. The average cost of housing on Budapest's secondary market was €2,256 per square metre by the end of 2023.

The capital experienced a decrease in prices across all types of buildings. In Q3 2023, the prices per square metre for detached houses fell by 12% compared to Q3 2022, while the prices for condominium apartments per square metre remained almost unchanged.

In Hungary, the demand for small apartments within modern residential complexes is on the rise. New constructions are built considering energy efficiency standards, unlike properties on the secondary market. For owners, this translates to reduced monthly utility expenses in comparison to those in older buildings. The average utility bill for an 85 m2 apartment in Budapest ranges from €100 to €250 per month.

Property prices in select districts of Budapest

District of BudapestAverage property price per m2Average 80 m2 apartment price
XI, Újbuda€3,350€284,750
VIII, Józsefváros€3,280€278,800
IX, Ferencváros€2,950€250,750
III, Óbuda-Békásmegyer€2,880€244,800
IV, Újpest€2,400€204,000
Source: Hungarian Central Statistical Office

The most popular regions for property purchase outside Budapest are the Northern Great Plain, with the city of Debrecen, and the Southern Great Plain, with the city of Szeged.

In 2022, the average price in county seats of the Northern Great Plain was €1,254 per m2 for second-hand properties and €1,593 per m2 for new real estate. In county seats of the Southern Great Plain, the average cost was €1,190 and €1,809 per m2, respectively.

Real estate purchasing process in Hungary

Property purchase and sales transactions in Hungary always involve lawyers.

Immigrant Invest’s lawyers and real estate specialists assist applicants seeking a residence permit through property purchase in Hungary. They help select an apartment or house, prepare and request necessary documents, conduct a property audit, and obtain purchase permission.

Selection of suitable properties
Selection of suitable properties

Immigrant Invest’s real estate experts identify residential properties that align with the investor’s preferences and the residency permit qualifications.

Choosing the property to purchase
Choosing the property to purchase

The investor participates in property viewings either remotely or on-site when in Hungary.

Legal verification and purchase authorization
Legal verification and purchase authorization

Immigrant Invest lawyers conduct Due Diligence on the selected property and its owner to minimise transaction-related risks. Subsequently, they secure approval from Hungarian authorities for the real estate purchase. The document processing time ranges from 2 to 4 weeks.

Signing a preliminary agreement
Signing a preliminary agreement

The lawyers facilitate the execution of a preliminary purchase and sales contract, following which the buyer is required to pay a down payment amounting to 10% of the property’s price.

Subsequently, based on this preliminary contract, the Hungarian Land Registry places a restriction on any further transactions involving the property by the current owner.

Finalising the purchase and acquiring ownership certification
Finalising the purchase and acquiring ownership certification

Once purchase permission is granted, the main purchase and sales agreement is finalised, and the buyer pays the remaining balance to the seller. Subsequently, within two days, the Land Registry issues a certificate of property ownership.

Taxes and fees when buying property in Hungary

For title transfers, a stamp duty of 4% applies to properties valued under HUF 1 billion (≈ €2.6 million). Any amount exceeding this threshold incurs an additional 2% duty, capped at a maximum tax of €534,380. This duty must be settled within three months of the property purchase.

Primary property purchases attract a VAT of 27%, typically included in the listed property price.

The fee for obtaining permission to purchase property varies from €170 to €200. Additionally, property buyers are responsible for several administrative fees:

  • €22 for a property ownership certificate;
  • €60 for imposing a veto on transactions involving the property;
  • €30 for an extract from the land registry.

The fees for legal, realtor, and notary services associated with the transaction typically do not exceed 5% of the property's price.

Overall, the total additional expenses for purchasing a property usually do not surpass 10% of the property's price. For instance, when purchasing an apartment priced at €280,000, an investor can expect to spend approximately €308,000 in total for the transaction.

Hungary residence permit for property purchase
Terézváros, known as District VI of Budapest, ranks among the top choices for investors. The majority of available apartments for purchase are situated in historic buildings

Requirements for Hungary residence permit applicants via property investment

Requirements for the main applicant to obtain a Hungary residence permit by property purchase include the following:

  1. Being over 18 years old;
  2. Having no criminal records;
  3. Not being under sanctions;
  4. Possessing medical insurance and having no severe illnesses;
  5. Having no violations of Hungarian and Schengen immigration laws.

The investor can include their spouse and minor children in the application.

Steps to obtain a Hungary residence permit by property purchase

1. Complete a Due Diligence check by certified anti-money laundering compliance officers. This check identifies potential denial risks early, allowing time to prepare additional documents or consider residency in another country if necessary.

2. Apply for and obtain a Guest Investor Visa. Submit documents to the Hungarian consulate in the applicant's country of residence. This two-year visa enables the investor to enter Hungary, meet the investment requirement, and apply for residency.

3. Buy real estate within 93 days of entering Hungary on a Guest Investor Visa.

4. Apply for Hungarian residency after completing the property purchase. Submit the application to Hungary's immigration authority in-person or online. Residency cards are issued within three weeks.

Required documents for Hungarian residence permit application

Hungarian authorities have not yet finalised the list of documents required from Golden Visa applicants. However, the preliminary pack of documents typically includes:

  • valid passport;
  • two recent passport-sized photos;
  • medical insurance;
  • letter of intent to meet the investment condition;
  • documents proving the legitimacy of income;
  • bank statements;
  • CV for each family member over 18;
  • marriage certificate, if applicable;
  • birth certificates, if applicable;
  • completed government forms;
  • confirmation of investment for obtaining residency.

Life in Hungary for residence permit holders

A Hungary residence permit allows a foreigner to live in the country for as long as the status is valid.

To renew the residence permit, property owners must keep the real estate in their ownership. Renewal applications are submitted via the Hungarian Immigration Service website — Enter Hungary.

To qualify for permanent residency in Hungary, foreigners must live in the country with a residence permit for at least 3 years. The procedure is similar to obtaining residency: applicants confirm their address in Hungary, prove their income level or savings to live in the country, and buy medical insurance. Applications are submitted via the Enter Hungary website.

To become eligible for Hungarian citizenship by naturalisation, foreigners must continuously live in Hungary with a permanent residency status for at least 8 years. To qualify, applicants are allowed to spend no more than 45 days per year outside the country.

Applicants for Hungarian citizenship must confirm their knowledge of the Hungarian language, history, and legislation and take an oath.

5 benefits of the Hungary residence permit

1. Visa-free travel across the Schengen. Hungary residence permit serves as a Schengen visa and allows staying in Schengen countries for up to 90 days out of 180.

2. Life in a safe country. Hungary ranks 18th in the Global Peace Index of the safest countries in 2023. Within the evaluation process, each country is assessed on 23 indicators, including the level of citizen protection and crime.

3. Maintaining freedom of movement worldwide. Hungary has three international airports, the largest being Ferenc Liszt Airport in Budapest. It takes 2.5 hours to get from Budapest to London and Paris, 5 hours to Dubai, and 10 hours to New York.

4. Relaxing at thermal springs and resorts located throughout the country. Gellért Thermal Baths in Budapest, the resort of Debrecen, and Balatonfüred near Lake Balaton are among the most popular with tourists and locals.

5. Active lifestyle all year round. Hungary has several national parks and nature reserves that offer opportunities for hiking and trekking. There are also a number of cycling routes, including some marked routes of EuroVelo 6, EuroVelo 11, and EuroVelo 13.

Hungary residence permit by real estate investment: key takeaways

  1. Hungary residence permit can be obtained by purchasing property in the country. The property must be residential and cost at least €500,000.
  2. Property owners can obtain residence permits for their spouse and minor children.
  3. In Hungary, there is a growing demand for real estate in modern residential complexes. Prices for such properties increase faster, while the maintenance costs are lower than for apartments in historical buildings.
  4. Additional expenses when purchasing property will be around 10%. These include administrative fees, taxes, realtor, legal, and notary services fees.
  5. Hungarian citizenship can be obtained after 11 years of continuous residency in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a White Card in Hungary?

A White Card is the name of a Hungary residence permit for digital nomads. This residence permit allows living in Hungary and working remotely for an employer registered outside the country. Foreigners with a monthly income of at least €2,000 qualify.

Hungary residence permit for digital nomads is granted for one year with the possibility of extension for another year. Another way to become a resident of Hungary is to obtain a Hungarian residence permit by property investment.

Who can buy property in Hungary?

Hungary allows purchasing property without restrictions to the country’s citizens and the Schengen and EU residents. Other foreigners wishing to buy property must obtain permission from the municipality and pay an administrative fee of €170200.

Foreign nationals can obtain a Hungary residence permit by buying real estate for at least €500,000.

How to obtain Hungarian citizenship?

Hungarian citizenship can be obtained by descent, family reunification, or naturalisation. One cannot buy Hungarian citizenship or get it by investment.

To obtain a second passport in Hungary by naturalisation, a foreigner must continuously live in the country for 3 years with a residence permit, followed by 8 years of residing with a permanent residency status. During this period, applicants for citizenship cannot spend more than 45 days per year outside of Hungary.

Foreigners must confirm their knowledge of the Hungarian language, history, and legislation of the country.

What are the property taxes in Hungary?

Property buyers in Hungary pay stamp duty for the title transfer at a rate of 2% to 4%. When purchasing real estate in new buildings, one pays a 27% value-added tax, which is usually included in the property price.

When selling property, owners pay a capital gains tax on the difference between the purchasing and the selling price. In this case, the tax rate is 15%.

How to get permanent residency in Hungary?

To become a permanent resident in Hungary, a foreign national has to live in the country for three years with a temporary residence permit. A Hungary residence permit can be obtained by purchasing property for at least €500,000 under the Hungarian real estate residency program known as the Hungary Golden Visa.

Can I get residency in Hungary if I buy a house?

Yes, investors in Hungarian real estate are entitled to a residence permit under the Hungary Golden Visa program.

To qualify, one must purchase real estate for at least €500,000. The status is granted for 10 years and can be extended, provided that the investor keeps their property.

Can a foreigner buy property in Hungary?

According to Hungarian legislation, foreigners can purchase property in the country.

To buy real estate in Hungary, foreign nationals must obtain permission from the municipality and pay an administrative fee of €170200. If purchasing property for €500,000 or more, investors can apply for a Hungary residence permit for 10 years.

How can I get residency in Hungary?

Hungary offers several types of residence permits, depending on the foreigner’s purpose of stay. Available options include a student visa, a work residence permit, a family reunification permit, a residence permit for financially independent people, and a residence permit for investors, known as Hungary Golden Visa.

The Hungary Golden Visa by real estate investment is granted for 10 years to investors who donate to an educational institution, invest in real estate fund units, or purchase property in Hungary.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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