More and more Germans are choosing Hungary as their place of residence in their retirement years. Their numbers have increased by more than 25 percent in the last five years alone, a trend that has been reported by foreign television channels. In addition to them, it is mainly Slovaks, Romanians, Dutch, Austrians and Chinese who are buying property in Hungary, most as lifelong residents and not just as investors.
As the official pension flow figures for Germany show, the number of elderly Germans claiming their pensions in Hungary is steadily increasing. There are currently more than 22,000 German citizens living here , of whom well over 14,000 are pensioners, according to the latest figures for 2021. However, experts say this number could be higher, given that many are still receiving their pensions into bank accounts linked to a German address, meaning that they are living in their home country on paper. The number of people living formally in Hungary has risen sharply, by around 25 percent, particularly in the last 5 years. Most elderly people living on mainly small- or medium-sized pensions do not buy property in Budapest, but move to settlements in Western Hungary.
German pensioners are particularly attracted to the Balaton region, familiar to many as a previous holiday destination of theirs. Others learned from television programmes about the relatively favourable real estate prices in Hungary and about their compatriots moving here. In the Balaton town of Keszthely, for example, a renovated property with a plot of land of 5,000 square metres sells for as little as €49,000, a bargain compared to prices in Germany. Both Keszthely and Siófok are considered popular with this group. German retirees settling in Hungary often find that the buying power of their pensions is greater here than at home and that public safety is in many cases better. Prices for many items in Hungary average 50% lower than in Germany, according to the German Federal Statistics Office.
Due to the influx of German pensioners , there are now settlements around Lake Balaton where Germans own one in ten houses. In such places, German-speaking communities have taken root, with German-language newspapers for sale at local newsagents, according to reports from several mayors in the Balaton region.
Of course, German pensioners are not the only ones who have been choosing to live here . In their old age, Austrian, Dutch and Belgian citizens are also demonstrating a keenness to buy property in some of the smaller settlements in western Hungary. A good example is Dunaszentmiklós, not far from Tata, which is often referred to as a Dutch village. In Budapest, meanwhile, it is mainly those foreigners who come to work or study who decide to purchase homes. 6-8% of all homebuyers in the capital are foreigners, most of them Chinese, Vietnamese, Israeli or Russian.