Last year, the average price of arable land in Hungary increased by 5 percent: the average price per hectare increased from HUF 1,593 million in the previous year to HUF 1,673 million, according to incomplete NAV data, OTP Mortgage Bank told MTI on Tuesday.
According to the information, prices increased the most, by 18 percent in Fejér county, while in Nógrád, Pest and Heves counties the price increase also exceeded 10 percent. The price of arable land decreased in three counties – Békés, Somogy and Zala – and the largest decrease, by 8 percent in Zala county.
Dávid Valkó, the Chief Analyst of OTP Mortgage Bank, emphasized in the announcement that
last year, the most expensive county became Hajdú-Bihar with 2.33 million forints per hectare, in addition, Fejér, Békés and Tolna counties crossed the two million level. In 2020, the average price of Nógrád county, which was already at the end of the list, was over one million forints.
Among cultivation branches, in 2020, the garden-orchard category became more expensive, by about 13 percent. The 7% rise in the price of vineyards was followed by a uniform 4-5% rise in the price of forest-planted, arable and grassland areas.
The arable land market – after a slight slowdown in 2019 – narrowed spectacularly last year. From 41 thousand in the previous year – in proportion to that – to 37 thousand in 2020, the number of sales decreased by almost 10 percent. With a decline of more than a third, Pest County leads in this. The number of transactions increased in three counties, by 7 percent in Somogy.
According to the announcement, while in 2016 the turnover in seven more counties exceeded ten thousand hectares, since then no county has been close to such a large sales volume. The largest area, about 4.4 thousand hectares, was sold again in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county in 2020. The other extreme is Pest, Baranya and Komárom-Esztergom counties, where the traffic remained below a thousand hectares.
In the arable sector, which accounts for about 71 percent of the national turnover, the turnover decreased by 10 percent last year. and for vineyards, the decrease is 3 percent compared to 2019 volume. The lawn market alone expanded by 11 percent.
István Szabó, Managing Director of OTP’s Agricultural Sector Directorate, emphasized in the announcement that the impact of the coronavirus epidemic affecting all segments of the economy on the agricultural land market is not yet clear. While the general uncertainty of customers and the narrowing of the market for hotels and restaurants presuppose lower demand, the expected general strengthening of agriculture may boost traffic. According to him, the number of sales and the price level of arable land may also be increased by the regulations aimed at eliminating the existing undivided common property, which came into force at the beginning of 2021.