Budapest 9th District Property Set to Boom

by : Richard Holmes

Of particular interest in the Budapest property market right now is the 9th district of the city. Development there has been quiet, yet constant, for several years but it really has exploded recently. In fact the hitherto semi-derelict area of the Danube riverside between the LÃ?gymÃ?nyosi Bridge and Petofi bridge is now beginning to finally fulfil its undisputed potential as a centre of premium residential and commercial Budapest property.

Walking through the 9th district recently, the main thing that struck me is the sheer pace of development, particularly around Boraross Square and alongside the SoroksÃ?ri ÃÅ?t corridor that runs parallel to the Danube. Commercial and residential property is springing up at a mind-boggling rate in this area, and it looks like the government's long-term plan of stimulating the area by building its new National Theatre and the Palace of Arts here in 2002 is now bearing fruit.

The Millennium City Centre is the most obvious example of the district's regeneration. This huge development, which is being built by regional construction giant TriGrÃ?nit, started with the construction of the Millennium Tower I in May 2006. This is 70% occupied by Vodafone, and is simply known to Budapesters as 'the Vodafone building' these days. Clearly, new residential developments nearby, and of course existing property near the office centre, are in increasing demand from Vodafone employees, meaning that a buoyant rental market is also developing in the 9th.

Furthermore, by Spring of 2008, TriGrÃ?nit will add even more premium office space to the Budapest property scene, with the construction of Millennium Tower II and III. Together, these developments will see the construction of 29, 000 square meters of brand new office space. In addition, construction of Millennium Gate is underway, which will become the new home of the prestigious Central European University's (CEU) Business School, as well as offering a further 13,000 square meters of retail space.

Finally, the TriGrÃ?nit is also constructing a residential project within the larger Millennium project. This will see an investment of over HUF 10 billion (EUR 40million) in brand new luxury residential Budapest property. In its sales pitch TriGrÃ?nit claims that this is the last piece of undeveloped land on the Pest riverside that gives a view of Buda, the castle district and Gellert hill, and it is certainly not an empty claim.

So,what was once an area you would simply drive through and wonder why nothing was being built on such a central and well appointed area of the city has, in the space of five short years, become one of the most dynamically developing areas of the Budapest property market. International finance giants Morgan Stanley and AIG have joined Vodafone as tenants and factor in the simple fact that people increasingly choose to live near their place of work, in addition to the effect that the CEU business school will have on the area, means that the riverside of the 9th district is looking like one of the most potentially profitable areas to invest in Budapest property. If you'd told me this in 1999, I would probably not have believed it, but it's happening right now, and further proof that big business has massive faith in, and continues to invest heavily in,Budapest property.