Real Estate
March 22, 2024
Reading Time: 7 min

Property maintenance costs in Hungary: a guide for investors

Hungary has the lowest utility tariffs in the European Union. Real estate maintenance costs increased 1.5 times from 2020 to 2023, but remain 2 times lower than in Germany. Price growth peaked at the beginning of 2023, after which inflation slowed.

The Hungarian Government sets marginal tariffs for electricity and gas. It helps curb price increases.

Property maintenance cost in Hungry in 2024
Property maintenance costs in Hungary: a guide for investors

How much homeowners pay for utilities in Hungary

Hungary residents spend an average of €933 per year on utilities, or HUF 357,000. HUF is the forint, the national Hungarian currency. The forint to euro exchange rate in March 2024 is HUF 395 per €1.

In Budapest, the amount is 20% more than the national average; it is €1,100 per year, or HUF 420,000. The average housing area in Budapest is 76 m2, and monthly property maintenance costs are €92 or €1.2 per m2 (HUF 35,000 or HUF 460, respectively).

Real estate owners in Budapest received a Hungary residence permit if the cost of the apartment or house was at least €155,000. This option is no longer available as of December 22nd, 2023. In 2024, Hungary changes the conditions: a 10-year residence permit will be issued for purchasing properties for at least €500,000.

In 2022, Hungarian real estate prices have markedly increased. On average, purchasers spent 3% more on home acquisitions, or €2,600 (HUF 1 million). Simultaneously, in Budapest, the average expense for purchasing a house has surged by over €5,200 (HUF 2 million).

Utilities, which include electricity, gas, water, and garbage disposal, cost about €30 per month for a one-room apartment with an area of 40 m2. For a two-room apartment with an area of 75 m2, the sum is approximately €60. In the summer, maintaining a one-room apartment requires less expenses as the cost of heating installed in the apartment is eliminated.

Payments for electricity, gas, water, and garbage disposal account for 90% of the property maintenance expenses, according to the data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. Of the utilities, Hungarians spend the most on electricity and gas: 2.5 times more than on water and garbage. 

Share of housing and utility expenses by type of service are:

  1. Electricity and gas — 65%.
  2. Water supply and garbage disposal — 25%.
  3. Cleaning of the territory, current repairs — 10%.

Budapest residents spend more on water and garbage removal than the Hungarian average — 40% of expenses instead of 25%. The Budapest mayor pays low-income people and retirees with low pensions an allowance for utilities: €63—126 per year, or HUF 24,000—48,000.

Heating in Hungary is central or individual. It depends on the area and the house type. In apartments without central heating, gas or electric boilers are installed. In addition to the boiler, solar heaters or heat pumps are used, devices that receive heat from the ground from a depth of several metres.

The heating season lasts from October to April. During this time, there are preferential tariffs for electricity for heating. The coldest month of the year is January, but winter in Hungary is mild, with average daily temperatures ranging 0…+6°C.

Central water supply. 97% of residential premises are connected to water supply. Hot water is supplied centrally if the house is connected to central heating.

In houses and apartments without central heating, the water is heated by a boiler or a separate heater. Sometimes, apartments are equipped with both a gas boiler for heating and an electric heater for hot water.

Expenses for homeowners in Hungary

Electricity. Property owners enter into electricity contracts with universal service providers who sell electricity and maintain the electrical grid.

There is only one universal service provider in Hungary — the state-owned MVM company. It owns the energy MVM Next company and the Hungarian branch of E.ON.

Owners pay for electricity by metre per kWh. The consumer chooses one of four tariffs, which include electricity and network maintenance fees. The price of electricity within 2,523 kWh per year is 2—3 times lower than above this volume.

Electricity tariffs in Hungary in 2024

TariffPrice per kWh
up to 2,523 kWh per year
Price per kWh
over 2,523 kWh per year
А1
One tariff for days and nights
€0.09 (HUF 35,293)€0.18 (HUF 70,104)
А2
Day and night rates
€0.11 (HUF 43,409)
Day

€0.086 (HUF 32,766)
Night
€0.18 (HUF 70,104)
Day and night
B
Night tariff for heat accumulators and heat pumps
€0.06 (HUF 23,52)€0.16 (HUF 60,935)
H
Tariff for heaters during the heating season
€0.06 (HUF 23,52)
No metre of consumption
Day: 6 am to 10 pm; night: 10 pm to 6 am

The owner pays for electricity monthly in one of two ways:

  1. Equal payments based on average monthly consumption for the previous year. At the end of the year, the electricity supplier recalculates based on actual consumption.
  2. Based on actual consumption per month. Metre readings are submitted online on the energy company’s website.

The MVM Next company offers to install a metre with prepaid electricity. The consumer deposits money into an account from which it is debited in real-time at the selected tariff: how much electricity was used, so much was debited. If the money in the account runs out, the electricity is turned off until the consumer replenishes the account.

Gas. Residents enter into gas supply contracts with universal service providers who sell gas and maintain gas networks. There is only one universal service provider in Hungary — the state-owned MVM Next company.

The gas tariff depends on consumption and the class of the metre, depending on how many m3 per hour it can pass:

  • preferential gas tariff up to 1729 m3 per year: €0.22—0.34 per m3 (HUF 86–131);
  • gas over 1,729 m3 per year: €2.01 per m3 (HUF 767.2).

For big families, the preferential gas volume is higher: 600 m3 for three children and 300 m3 for each additional one.

The bill also includes a fixed fee for the maintenance of gas networks, which does not depend on consumption: €30.6—70.36 per year (HUF 11,674—26,846).

In some cases, gas is paid for in a fixed payment without a metre, for example, if the apartment has a gas stove and central heating is running. The size of the fixed fee depends on the number of gas appliances, the number of rooms and residents.

The consumer pays for gas in one of three ways:

  1. Equal payments based on average monthly consumption for the previous year. Once a year, the supplier recalculates the actual gas consumption.
  2. Variable payments, the size of which depends on the air temperature. Once a year, the supplier makes a recalculation based on metre readings.
  3. Based on actual consumption per month. The consumer submits readings through the gas company’s website.

Municipal water utilities supply water; you cannot choose a supplier. The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority approves tariffs for water utility services.

Water is paid according to the metre per m3; the fee includes water supply and sewerage. Additionally, depending on the municipality, a fixed subscription fee or a fee for using the main pipeline may be added to the bill.

Examples of water tariffs in Hungary

BudapestBudakeszi, a western suburb of Budapest
Water:
€0.57 per m3 (HUF 218.95)

Subscription fee:
€0.47 per month (HUF 179.95)
Water:
€0.57 per m3 (HUF 218.90)

Subscription fee:
€0.47 per month (HUF 179.95)

Water supply:
€0.02 per m3 (HUF 8)

Main water supply:
€0.79 per m3 (HUF 302.5)

The owner submits metre readings and pays for water once every 2 months. If readings are not submitted, then the bill is issued based on average monthly consumption for the previous year. At the end of the year, the water utility checks actual consumption and recalculates.

Internet, TV, and telephone. The three largest telecom operators in Hungary are:

  1. Maguar Telecom.
  2. Telenor.
  3. Vodafone.

Customers are offered package tariffs that include mobile communications, home television, and the Internet. Tariffs also apply for individual services. On average, television and communications cost €40 per month (HUF 15,200).

Property maintenance expenses in Hungary
One of the Hungarian telecom operators offers a discount on mobile communications when connecting to home Internet and TV. Machine translate

Insurance. The owner is not required to insure their property in Hungary or their civil liability. Purchasing a home with a mortgage is an exception. 

There are several insurance companies in Hungary offering home insurance policies. Some of the well-known insurance companies in Hungary include: 

  • Allianz, 
  • Generali, 
  • Groupama, 
  • Aegon, 
  • Uniqa.

Homeowners in Hungary can choose from various policy options depending on their needs and budget. These options may include basic coverage, comprehensive coverage, and additional riders for specific risks.

The cost of home insurance premiums in Hungary depends on factors such as the value of your property, the level of coverage you choose, the location of your home, and the insurance company you select. Home insurance costs about €20 per month, depending on the factors above.

Property taxes in Hungary

Property tax is typically payable to the local municipality. The amount of property tax owed is determined based on various factors, such as the value of the property and its designated use. 

Property tax rates and regulations may vary between municipalities. Hungarian local governments possess the authority to impose building and land taxes at their discretion, within the specified limits below.

Property transfer tax without monetary exchange among direct relatives is exempt from taxation. Additionally, a discounted tax rate for residential properties during estate transfers exists. 

The real estate transfer tax rate ranges from 2 to 4%, contingent on the real estate's value. For real estate valued at up to HUF 1 billion, the tax rate stands at 4%. For the portion exceeding HUF 1 billion in value, the applicable rate decreases to 2%.

Building tax applies to residential and other buildings, payable to the local municipality by the entity or individual owning the building as of January 1st of the respective calendar year. This tax is to be settled in two instalments, due on March 15th and September 15th annually.

Stamp duty is levied on immovable property and property rights if acquired in Hungary unless an international agreement rules otherwise.

How to pay for utilities in Hungary

Utility bills are sent by mail or online. Individuals pay for utilities in several ways:

  • automatic payment from a bank account in a Hungarian bank;
  • by bank card on the supplier’s website;
  • by bank transfer according to the details.

Housing and utility bills can also be paid at the post office. Property owners in Hungary may encounter fake invoices: if you do not check the details on the account, the money will go to scammers. You can check the authenticity of the invoice and pay it online through special services, such as the Dijnet service.

Service providers call autopayment from a direct debit bank account. It is the safest way to pay utility bills.

Key takeaways about property maintenance expenses in Hungary

  1. Hungary has the lowest housing and communal services tariffs in the EU: utility costs are 2 times lower than in Germany.
  2. In 2024, for the purchase of real estate in Hungary, foreigners can obtain a Golden Visa — a residence permit by investment.
  3. Property maintenance costs in Hungary average €77 per month or €933 per year (HUF 29,750 or HUF 357,000, respectively). Maintaining an apartment in Budapest costs €92 per month (HUF 35,000).
  4. The costs of maintaining real estate in Hungary are electricity and gas — 65%, water and garbage removal — 25%, and current repairs and maintenance — 10%.
  5. Heating in Hungary depends on the house and can be central or individual. In houses without central heating, gas or electric boilers, heat pumps and batteries are installed.
  6. Electricity, gas, and water are paid according to metres in equal payments based on average monthly consumption or actual consumption.
  7. Utility bills are paid through the supplier’s website, by automatic payment from a bank account, through a special online service or by paper receipt by mail.

Frequently asked questions

What is the property tax in Budapest?

Generally, property tax rates in Budapest are calculated based on the property’s assessed value and are set by the local municipality. These rates may be subject to change over time, and it’s advisable to consult with local authorities or tax offices for the most current information on property tax rates in Budapest.

Are things expensive in Hungary?

The cost of living in Hungary can vary depending on the city or region, as well as individual lifestyle choices. In general, Hungary is considered to be more affordable than many EU countries. However, prices for goods and services may still be relatively higher in larger cities like Budapest compared to rural areas.

How much does a house cost in Hungary?

The mean price stood at €104,000 (HUF 39.7 million), with the average price per square metre exceeding €1,440 (HUF 550,000). Solely considering transactions within Hungary’s capital, the average apartment price has increased from €144,080 (HUF 55 million) in 2022 to €149,319 (HUF 57.2 million) in 2023.

How much does a cube of cold water cost in Hungary?

Tariffs vary by area. In Budapest, 1 m3 of water costs €0.57 (HUF 218.95). The owner pays an additional monthly fixed subscription fee of €0.47 (HUF 179.95).

How much do utilities cost in Hungary?

On average, owners pay €933 (HUF 357,000) per year for the maintenance of real estate in Hungary. They pay the most for electricity and gas — 65% of all expenses. In second place in cost are water and garbage removal. Maintenance and ongoing repairs of real estate account for 10% of all utility costs.

How cheap is it to live in Hungary?

A resident of Budapest spends an average of €590 per month on living, according to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. Groceries account for 25% of expenses, and utilities account for 20%.

How much does a kilowatt of electricity cost in Hungary?

The electricity cost depends on consumption and tariff. For a single tariff without day-night division, kWh costs from €0.09 (HUF 35,293). The reduced price applies to consumption of up to 2,523 kWh per year.

How much does a kilowatt of electricity cost in Budapest?

Hungary has uniform electricity tariffs throughout the country. The government has set cap prices for kWh: €0.06 to 0.18 (from 23.52 to HUF 70.104) depending on the tariff chosen by the consumer.

How much is the monthly rent in Hungary?

On average, renting a three-bedroom apartment in Budapest costs €730 per month in the centre and €570 outside of it. Additionally, the tenant pays utility costs €933 per month.

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