Budapest Is the Most Expensive EU City For Locals to Buy Property

The richer the city, the easier it is for locals to buy property. Brussels, Bern and Copenhagen might be notoriously expensive property markets (nominally), but average salaries are much higher.

Poor countries, on the other hand, are poor for a reason. People have to spend a much higher share of their salaries to buy a property – even if properties are nominally cheaper.

Budapest came last among EU capitals for first time buyers on the survey of with 113% of the local average salary needed to pay a mortgage on an average property.

worst cities to be first time buyer

Worst cities to be a buyer on a local salary. Budapest came last among EU capitals Source:

The only rich city on the worst list is London, and the reason why it’s so expensive for people on local salaries may be very similar to that of poor, eastern European cities: hot money flowing in. Brexit will never keep Russian, Chinese and Saudi money out – just like the Orbán-regime keeps letting in rich Easterners, despite its turbo-xenophobic yapping. The truth is, your populists are screwing you, people. Everywhere.

“In Moscow, the average cost of a city centre apartment is £3,693.83 per square metre, yet the average monthly salary is just £708.08, making the average mortgage payment 2.4 times their actual wage, and purchasing property in the capital pretty much impossible for a large proportion of the locals.

In third place is Budapest, where the average monthly salary is £579.49 which, like Kiev and Moscow, is painfully low when compared to the price of a square metre in a city centre apartment, which will set you back £2171.14.”

The best cities to buy in for locals are, however, also the most expensive ones – nominally. As the report put it:

“An average salary in the Belgian capital is £1,787.12, with homeowners only having to allocate 43.99% of that figure towards their monthly mortgage payments.

Surprisingly, Bern the capital of Switzerland came in second place. Although the country is notoriously expensive, with buyers on average paying £9,023.49 per square metre for a city centre apartment, the average salary for locals is the highest out of all the countries analysed – £3,447.66 a month, meaning they can afford the high prices. Bern also has the lowest interest rates of all the 34 capital cities analysed.

Copenhagen, Denmark came third on the list with just over half of their salary going towards their mortgage, followed by Luxembourg City, Luxembourg where higher costs for properties are matched by larger monthly wages.”

best cities

The least affordable places require a local to put up 2.4 times their average salary for mortgage payments (despite lower nominal property prices) while the most affordable ones can get away with only 44% of their take-home pay spent on mortgage.

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