The beautiful city of Budapest is divided into two halves (Buda and Pest) by the river Danube. On the Buda side, the area of Castle Hill originates from the 13th century. With the Pest side being two thirds of the city, the City Park provides open green spaces, as well as various activities such as the Aviation Museum, the Transport Museum, and the Zoo. Here you will also find the Széchenyi Baths going back to Turkish times and the swimming pool.
Budapest is a cultural mecca with a festival for each of the four seasons. Budapest Búcsú (June) is a rock and pop festival held at open-air venues around Budapest and celebrates the last Russian soldiers' departure from Hungary in 1991. The Castle District hosts September's International Wine and Champagne Festival, while the Summer Opera & Ballet Festival provides the opportunity to see some of the world's finest performers in Budapest's amazing Opera House at affordable prices. Hungary's premier sporting event is the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix held in mid-August each year.
Why is Budapest an attractive place to do business?
Strategic location in Europe
- Hungary is strategically located as an important gateway between Western Europe and the developing East, spanning major transportation routes between Western Europe and the Balkan Peninsula, and from the Ukraine to the Mediterranean basin.
- Four main paneuropean transport corridors intersect in the region and provide direct connections to the EU, the Adriatic and the Black Sea.
- Vienna and Bratislava, are each only a two and a half hour drive from Budapest. Prague, Zagreb and Belgrade can also be reached easily.
City of great investment returns
- A growing number of Fortune 500 companies have achieved impressive returns on investment in Hungary, benefiting from and fuelling six consecutive years of sustained gross domestic product growth, averaging 4.5% annually. There is a stable and transparent political environment, which protects both human rights and intellectual property rights. Investors enjoy the lowest corporate tax rate of 16% in Continental Europe plus significant tax allowances. Moreover, the country has negotiated a number of free trade agreements beyond EU borders.
- Labour competitiveness is among the best in Europe, having recorded a 13% average annual rise in overall productivity. In addition, the workforce is multilingual, educated, skilled and motivated.
- The government continues to invest in and foster infrastructure improvements, including transportation upgrades, technology, financial and supportive business services and education. The numerous benefits of EU membership for foreign investors include simplified customs administration, easy cross-border movement, and transparent legal and tax systems.
Serving Europe from Hungary
- In terms of Budapest, the city can already be considered a financial and technological hub. On the heels of its European Union accession, Hungary is aiming to promote itself as a business capital among the new Central and Eastern European member states – with the goal of luring companies to set up regional service centres in Budapest.
- According to the Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency (ITDH), relocating regional service centres to Hungary leads to cost savings of approximately 25%. Companies that have already made Hungary their regional home include General Electric, Nokia, General Motors, Sykes, Avis, Philips Alcoa, and EDS.
Hungary’s focal point
- The economic importance of Budapest is out of proportion with its population. Due to the centralised radial structure of the Hungarian transport network, Budapest has a unique position with regard to public road and railway systems. All of Hungary's road, rail, water, and air transport junctions are located in Budapest, and the city is the main crossroad of Central Europe.
- The economic growth of Budapest is many times greater than that of the country at large and the unemployment rate is the lowest of any of the country’s regions by far and excels in comparison with the rest of the EU.
- Budapest and its agglomeration (Pest county) is where 28% of the population live 42 % of GDP is produced 40% of all active economic organisations is concentrated 60% of all foreign capital invested in Hungary has come to Budapest has emerged as the financial and commercial centre of Central Europe. There are 56 banks, mostly foreign owned, 20 insurance companies, and about 600 other financial service enterprises operating in Budapest. Brand new business centres, commercial developments and entertainment sites have also sprung up in recent years.
The best new EU city to live
- The world’s largest non investment banking analyst and forecasting institute, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), ranked Budapest as the best place to live among newly entered EU cities.
How is the rental market in Budapest?
- It is estimated that 8% of accommodation in Hungary is rented, compared to the EU average of 35%. The rental market in central Budapest, therefore, It is driven largely by demand from foreigners. Budapest’s expat population is currently 7%.
- The rental market in the city is divided into 3 distinct groups: Students Local Hungarians Expat/corporate lettings
- Each category having their own demands with regard to quality, location and price, you need to know what can be rented out in Budapest, and what will sit vacant unless you drop the price well below what you had in mind when you bought the flat.
- Car parking, as in any major capital city is vital and well-positioned secure underground car spaces already rent for between EUR 80-150/month. A lack of car parking in the city has a major impact on the value of these apartments.
- Apartment leases can last for up to 3 years but the standard is 1 year. Rents are payable in HUF, EUR, USD or GBP. Leases are similar to UK leases with the main difference being that tenants also pay the building service charges (known in Hungary as common charges) separately to their rent. Usual payment terms:
- Months deposit needs to be paid upon signing the rental agreement
- The monthly rent shall be paid to the owner’s representative by the 5th day of the relevant month.
- Besides the rental fee the Lessee shall pay utility charges (common costs, heat, electricity, telephone, cable TV, internet, hot-and cold water).
- Renovated, fully furnished apartments in central areas - Districts V, VI VII and XIII in Pest and Districts I and II in Buda are very easy to rent. In the case of resale apartments the higher the standard of renovation, the more it appeals to the high quality, long term, western tenants. Ideally these tenants are business people, diplomats, or foreign students.
- Investors can expect a 5% - 7% yearly rental yield on properties in Budapest.
- Property management services Managing a property in a foreign country can be a difficult task taking into consideration the distance and language difficulties. Therefore you will need a property management company that can deal with all the operational responsibilities.
HOW TO GET THERE
Regularly scheduled carriers, including the national carrier Malév Hungarian Airlines operates nonstop flights between Budapest (Ferihegy Airport, located approximately 28 kms (17 miles) from the city centre) and North America, the Middle East and most European centers.
Discount airline EasyJet also flies to Ferihegy from London’s Gatwick and Luton airports, Paris Orly and other European centers.
Regular dedicated airport buses depart from the city centre (Erzsébet tér) to and from the airport every 30 minutes.
For a more luxurious alternative, a hydrofoil service along the Danube will take you to and from Vienna, Austria.