The Hungarian Guide - Investing and retiring in Hungary

  • A stunning capital with unique setting A stunning capital with unique setting
  • walking and birdwatching paradise walking and birdwatching paradise
  • undisturbed nature rich in rare species undisturbed nature rich in rare species
  • enjoy the 144 mile lakeside cycle track enjoy the 144 mile lakeside cycle track
  • Teeming with History Teeming with History
  • over 300 Thermal Health Spas and warm lakes over 300 Thermal Health Spas and warm lakes
  • picturesque lakes with Carp weighing over 100 lb picturesque lakes with Carp weighing over 100 lb
  • Feast on delicious sunripened local fruit Feast on delicious sunripened local fruit
  • Lake Balaton gets as warm as the Caribbean in the summer Lake Balaton gets as warm as the Caribbean in the summer
  • Tranquil Lake Balaton Tranquil Lake Balaton
  • Lush rolling hills of western Hungary Lush rolling hills of western Hungary
  • buy a thatched cottage for under £30 000.. buy a thatched cottage for under £30 000..
  • horsemen and nature lovers paradise horsemen and nature lovers paradise
  • Europe's second largest freshwater lake Europe's second largest freshwater lake
  • A paradise for watersport enthusiasts A paradise for watersport enthusiasts
  • Tihany peninsula- a pearl of history and nature Tihany peninsula- a pearl of history and nature

Value for Money

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In the past Budapest has been voted best value tourist City in Europe but what about living there?
As with most capital cities prices tend to be higher than regional towns with the cost of living lowest away from the tourist areas in the smaller villages. Hungary is no exception.
For most British and Irish people our biggest annual living costs are our local Council Taxes, transport and utility costs.  The equivalent costs in Hungary are significantly lower making owning property there very inexpensive.
For example typical Council Tax costs in Hungary for a property in a village a short drive from Budapest will be just £30 per annum.
Utility costs are approx 25 % lower than at home – in fact Hungary has the second lowest gas prices in Europe.
Diesel and Petrol are currently approx £0.85 per litre and unlike the UK prices have not started to creep up over the last few months.
Despite having the highest vat rate in the EU at 27 % prices in shops restaurants and bars are significantly lower than at home so why is this?
The reasons are fairly straightforward-
  • Hungary has retained its own currency the Forint and is not in the Euro so unlike countries such as Greece is not in a financial straitjacket.
  • Over the last 18 months ago the Pound has strengthened by approx. 25% against the Hungarian Forint.
  • Low inflation – the inflation rate in Hungary like much of Europe is less than 1%.
  • The cost of labour has remained low – typically average wages of £130/week with no easy handouts for people not prepared to contribute.
  • Consequently social costs are fairly low which means Income tax is low at just 16%.
These low costs are reflected in the cost of property – a typical 2 bed cottage a short drive south of Lake Balaton on half an acre with wine cellar, an outbuilding and fruit orchard for £15,000.  Check out our latest properties here.