While property prices in Budapest are slumping, in some cases to the extent that some properties in downtown are now going for only half of what they used to, this has led to a boom in room rentals or “alternative hostels”, index.hu reports by way of napi.hu. According to Balázs Nagy, the advisor-owner of Palace real estate, long gone are the days of buying run-down property that is then renovated and sold for a profit. Instead, property buyers are now buying flats in central locations and doing minimal work to convert them so that they can be rented out to tourists.
Budget tourists are the main targets of these alternative hostels which is very much like the old days in which rooms could be rented along the shores of Lake Balaton, usually accompanied by the now infamous “zimmer frei” signs. Rooms can be rented from €20-40 per day, and a single owner can deal with several such flats by themselves. In some cases, the apartments are even divided into smaller “mini apartments.”
Nagy added that given the glut of available property on the market, property in Budapest is barely moving, and that these alternative hostels are one of the few things keeping it afloat, which is still more than what can be said of Lake Balaton itself.