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Cities’ population edges down as suburbs grow

The number of permanent residents fell in county seats and several Budapest districts last year, as suburbs saw growing populations as well as property price rises, according to a property analyst.

The population grew by 821 people in Erd, near Budapest, where property prices also grew by 16 percent to 753,000 forints/sqm. Other localities near the capital saw the same trend, with the population of Vacratot growing by 12 percent and property prices by 17 percent, Laszlo Balogh of real estate website said on Wednesday.

In other suburbs such as Erdokertes, Nagytarcsa, Biatorbagy and Gyomro, populations grew by some 300-400 people, while property prices rose by 4-21 percent, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the population of Budapest fell by 13,000 last year to 1.63 million, and cities like Pecs, Szeged, Debrecen and Miskolc lost 1,100-2,200 inhabitants, the website said. Still, property prices in cities grew by 13-21 percent, to 660,000-813,000 forints.

The price increase in districts and country seats already losing inhabitants was due to continued high demand due to investors and the population loss came to only 1 percent in those cities, noted. Also, certain Budapest neighbourhoods and university districts remain popular with investors who are driving up prices, the statement said.

Meanwhile, prices per square metre in Budapest’S 5th district have grown by more than 1 million forints in 10 years, with average spending on real estate exceeded 100 million forints per unit, according to another real estate agent, Duna House.

In 2022, the proportion of investment purchases rose by 15 percentage points year on year to 60 percent, with the inner 5th, 6th and 7th districts especially popular. Data for 2023 so far show the price per square metre in these districts increased by 6 percent, to 1.08 million forints, compared with the average price in the second half of the previous year.

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