CSOK Plus and the Hungarian real estate market in 2024

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CSOK Plus and the Hungarian real estate market in 2024

CSOK Plus, the 2024 edition of the Hungarian family housing allowance and prenatal loan program is giving a new boost to the local real estate market. Read on for a summary on the program and its latest impact.

CSOK on the real estate market

CSOK was first introduced in 2015 as a way to increase people’s willingness to have children by providing financial support to young married couples who undertake having 1, 2, or three children in the coming years. The program has undergone some changes over the years, concerning both the available loans and subsidies, as well as the eligible projects (buying, building, renovating; house or apartment; in cities or in the countryside).

The two main elements are:

  • A non-refundable allowance, the amount of which depends on the type of property purchased (existing or newly built) and the number of children pledged.
  • A favorable loan, with an interest rate as low as 3%.

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Changes to CSOK starting from 2024

Last year, significant reductions to CSOK were announced starting from 2024, which had a sizable effect on the Hungarian real estate market in Q4 2023, as more people wanted to take advantage of CSOK while they had the opportunity. As a result, while in Q1-Q3 the number of applications was less than 50% of those the year before, Q4 saw a 12% increase year-to-year.

CSOK Plus available from 1 January

While the original CSOK suffered a considerable reduction as of 2024, CSOK Plus introduced starting from 1 January makes up for most of that. The most important parameters for eligibility are as follows:

  • For married couples where the wife is younger than 41 years old
  • Based on children pledged, not the total number of children (can be fulfilled both by birth and adoption)
  • At least one member of the couple must have had Hungarian social security over the previous 2 years

The loan may be used for buying, building, or expanding a home. It cannot be used for modernization, renovation, or buying a plot. The value of the home can be at most HUF 80 million in the case of first time joint buyers, and HUF 150,000 million in other cases. The minimum size of the home depends on the number of children:

Number of total childrenApartmentHouse
140 m270 m2
250 m280 m2
3+60 m290 m2

Applicants must use the real estate as their main place of residence for at least 10 years. Of course, there are exceptions, e.g. if the family has to move in relation to the education of the children, in case of getting a job or medical treatment in another city, or one of the children reaches adulthood and moves out.

Loan and allowance

The available loan and allowance depend on the number of children pledged and the type of the property. The loan has a fixed rate at 3%, which is an excellent deal, especially if we consider that the current base rate is 9%, and it is not expected to go below 6% anytime soon.

Couples must pledge at least one child, but the available loan depends on the total number of children being raised in the same household.

  • HUF 15 million in the case of 1 child
  • HUF 30 million in the case of 2 children
  • HUF 50 million in the case of 3 children

This is complimented by relief from HUF 10 million of the debt after the birth / adoption of the second child, and another HUF 10 million after the third.

If there is a miscarriage or one of the spouses dies, the pledge is considered fulfilled. Otherwise, the deadline for fulfilling the pledges is:

  • 4 years for 1 child
  • 8 years for 2 children
  • 10 years for 3 children

Tax benefits and additional conditions

While VAT refund is not available for real estate bought with CSOK Plus, buyers do not have to pay the 4% real estate purchase tax, which is a huge benefit. Earlier it was mentioned that this will be available only if the purchase price is below HUF 80 million, but in the end this limit was not added.

Notary costs related to the CSOK Plus application are also capped by a separate government decree. As a result, applicants have to worry less about the costs of the entire loan and application process.

Hungarian real estate market 2024

After people who wanted to take advantage of the old CSOK increased demand for real estate, the trend continued to 2024 as well, according to the data of ingatlan.com, the largest real estate trading platform in Hungary. The reason is that there is always a wave effect on the real estate market, and people selling their homes to CSOK applicants will need to find new homes for themselves after the deal is done.

Buyers seem more interested in used homes, both in the case of apartments and houses. In any case, the type of the demand depends heavily on the area too: Budapest houses (24% increase) are more sought after in the suburban districts, while apartments are more in demand (17% increase) closer to the city center. At the same time, in cities with county rights and other major cities, the trend seems to be the opposite, and the demand for apartments shows a bigger increase than for houses (37% and 29% vs. 15% and 16%, respectively).

At the same time, the effects of the inflation of the last few years are still not overcome. As a result, prices have not yet started to rise parallel to the increase in demand.

Looking for a family home in Hungary?

You and your spouse might be eligible for CSOK or CSOK Plus even if you are not Hungarian citizens. If you are interested in this, you might need a specialist to make sure you meet every requirement. Purchasing real estate as a foreigner in Hungary has some additional conditions too, so make sure you are familiar with the procedure.

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