THE HIGH price of buying property is Bratislava is causing some Slovaks to purchase flats and houses in Hungarian or Austrian villages.
Austria is usually chosen by more affluent buyers and the Hungarian villages are affordable to a wider group, the Hospodárske Noviny financial daily wrote.
A very popular destination is the Hungarian village of Rajka, which lies two kilometres from the Slovak border. In the village of 2,700 inhabitants, about 80 Slovak families live there, with another 40 in villages nearby. Buyers state that a house in Rajka costs the same as a flat in Bratislava.
But available land in Rajka is sold out at the moment, so interest has turned to other villages that are a bit further away, such as Mosonmagyarovár, Hegyeshalom, Levél, Dunasziget, and Feketeerdo.
A small, two-bedroom flat in these villages costs at least Sk1.65 million and a bigger, two-storey flat about Sk2.1 million. A family house in Feketeerdo, which is 15 kilometres from the border, costs Sk3.3 million, including 800 square metres of land.
The low real estate prices in the Hungarian and Austrian villages is the result of lack of employment.
The Austrian region near the border is especially convenient for Slovaks, offers competitive prices, and is easy to reach. The drive from Wolfsthal, the first village after the Slovak border, to downtown Bratislava takes 10 minutes, which is much shorter than the trip from some of the capital's districts, such as Rača and Lamač.
Slovaks first started buying in Wolfsthal six years ago. Since then, about 40 families have moved here, and each month more and more are doing so. Slovaks are also moving to Kittsee, where conditions and prices are about the same.
In Bratislava, Sk3 million gets a two bedroom flat, but it buys a smaller family house (about 80 square metres) in the Austrian village, as well as the ground. Houses with a bigger area (100 square metres and up) can be purchased from Sk3.5 million.
Another reason villages such as Rajka and Wolfsthal have such low real estate prices is that property can only be bought by individuals, and not by developers. However, this growing demand is also causing prices across Austria and Hungary to rise.
21. Apr 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports