How to acquire real property in Hungary - the legal perspective
The acquisition of real property in Hungary may seem to entail just a few administrative steps, but if one looks closer there could be a few pitfalls. In our blogpost, we examine how to avoid this in practice...

Acquisition of real properties in Hungary that do not qualify as agricultural and/or forestry land

In case of real property that does not qualify as agricultural or forestry land, Hungarian citizens (i.e. natural persons) and Hungarian legal entities (regardless of whether the owners of such entities are foreign or Hungarian persons) are entitled to freely acquire such properties for business purposes.

 

Furthermore, the following persons are also entitled to obtain the ownership of real property in Hungary with the same conditions as Hungarian citizens or Hungarian legal entities:

 

  • Citizens, business associations and other organizations (with or without legal personality) of EU member states;
  • Citizens, business associations and other organizations (with or without legal personality) of the members states of European Economic Area Agreement (“EEA”);
  • Citizens of Switzerland;
  • Dual citizens, if one of their citizenship is Hungarian or they are citizens of an EEA/EU member state.

 

The Hungarian branch of a foreign company registered under the laws of a non-EEA member state may also purchase real property

  • if such property is necessary for the realization of the company’s business activities, and
  • if such right derives from an international agreement or if there is reciprocity between Hungary and the state where the seat of the foreign company has been registered.

 

Other natural or legal entities may obtain the ownership of real properties exclusively with the permission of the competent Hungarian authority. There is one exception from this rule, the case of inheritance, ie that a foreign citizen may obtain the ownership under the legal title of inheritance provided there is reciprocity on inheritance cases between the state of the personal law of the heir and Hungary.

 

Acquisition of real properties in Hungary qualifying as agricultural and/or forestry land

The ownership of a land (i.e. a real property that qualifies as an agricultural or forestry land in the land registry), in principle, may be acquired by such a Hungarian or EU citizen (i.e. only natural persons) who has a vocational qualification in agriculture or in forestry or has been conducting such an activity for a longer period. The maximum size of the land that may be acquired is 300 hectares. It is possible to acquire land without having agricultural professional experience, but in this case the size of the land to be acquired may not exceed 1 hectare.

 

Hungarian legislation provides for the acquisition of land by legal entities in a very narrow range. Only churches, mortgage credit institutions and local municipalities are entitled to obtain the ownership of agricultural of forestry lands and only for special purposes set forth in the related legal provisions.

 

It is important to note that there are extra requirements for the conclusion of agreements on the sale and purchase of agricultural and forestry lands: special "safety papers" need to be used by the proceedings attorneys and such agreements also need to be approved by the competent authority.

 


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