Between tourism and migration: spatial inequality of foreign property owners in Hungary

Gabor Michalko, HAS Geographical Research Institute, Budapest
Sandor Illes, HCSO Demographic Research Institute

Migration and tourism are increasingly important elements of human mobility. Both of them were also expansive process in numbers, forms and terms in the last decades. It was increasingly difficult to distinguish one from another applying traditional terminology when try to explore the emerging new phenomena within the tourism migration continuum. The research on foreign property purchase was conducted in the blurred zone between of international tourism and migration related to Hungary. The data on foreign property purchases originated from the legal register of the Local Governments Department of the Ministry of Interior. The coherent national database contains the characteristics of property purchases by foreigners in terms of location and citizenship of the new owners from 2001 through 2006. The research has quantitative method. We use first of all time series analysis combined with cartographic presentation. The definite aim of this paper is to analyse the spatial distribution of their new owners according to nationality. The spatiality of new second home owners was compared to the territorial distribution of international tourists and international migrants. According to the preliminary research result, Germans represented the majority of foreign property owners. The extent of German investors in Hungary was far less than to countries of southern Europe but more than for instance, to Sweden. This intermediate position reflected that Hungary was not a peripheral destination within the German system of direct private investment abroad. They could be considered as potential buyers in the whole of the country without particular territorial preferences. Other citizens, mainly those from the surrounding countries, prefer to buy in the counties near the border.

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Presented in Session 47: Housing