According to 24.hu, the government in Budapest plans to restrict short term rentals in Hungary’s capital city, which will have a major impact on the city center and the real estate market more broadly.
Leaders in Budapest say that short term rentals have driven housing prices higher and pushed out locals. They’re hoping that implementing restrictions will help make housing more attainable for the common person.
Previously strong tourist traffic has been decimated by the coronavirus — April’s total number of short term rental stays fell by 98.7%, while domestic stays fell by 95%. Travel to Budapest has yet to rebound even as the virus has relaxed its grip on more rural parts of the country.
This difference between Hungary’s city and country populations has been used as an explanation for choosing the current moment to consider short term rental restrictions.
What will these restrictions look like?
While the specifics of these restrictions have not yet been announced, some officials are suggesting that they will not ban rentals entirely.
The Hungarian Hotel Association has also been a supporter of increasing restrictions. Tamás Flesch, president of the HHA, said that Airbnb’s more relaxed health and safety policies put hotels at a disadvantage. He suggests that restrictions could include a limit on length-of-stay.
Currently, there are around 20,000 hotel beds in Budapest, and around 10-12,000 apartments available for short term rental. This gives the HHA an incentive to push for additional restrictions on Airbnb hosts — it would be good for business.
The number of apartments offered on Airbnb in Budapest has almost doubled in the last five years from 5,200 in 2015 to 9,725 in 2020. The website ingatlan.com showed a growing number of short term rentals caused rents to rise in the capital by 13-27,000 forints (35-75 EUR) over the last 2.5 years. Government officials see this as unsustainable and a driving force behind the restrictions.
Watch for restrictions to be announced in the coming weeks — they will have a significant impact on Budapest’s rental market.