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Yurts offer cheap escape from living costs crisis in Hungary

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2 個月前

STORY: Hungarian David Zih never thought he would end up living in a yurt to escape the surging costs of living.

He was planning to build a house with a terrace on his plot of land near Budapest.

But mounting construction and energy prices have forced him to rethink.

Instead, the 37-year-old will soon reside in a large circular domed tent - like those used by nomadic people on the steppes of Central Asia.

"By the time the yurt is ready it will be half the cost of what a lightweight construction house would have cost. I got a quote for that in the spring and by the autumn costs rose by another 30%, so it (the yurt) is definitely much cheaper, and even cheaper than a normal house would have been. As far as the energy costs are concerned, even with the new prices I will be much better off than what I am paying now in a rented flat."

His new, insulated home will cover 861 square feet among the pine trees in Budakeszi.

He will make big savings in the yurt which he will heat using electric wall-mounted heaters.

It will even be finished before the cold sets in.

Zih is one of an increasing number of Hungarians who are choosing yurts as their permanent accommodation due to the energy crisis.

Petra and Mihaly Pogany, who live on a farm near Kecskemet in eastern Hungary, moved into their yurt three months ago.

In their former farmhouse, they only heated one room with a wood stove, and even that got cold by the morning.

Now they can use a stove and electric floor heating in their yurt, which is kitted out as well as any standard apartment.

Petra, who is expecting the couple's first child, says keeping warm is more important than ever.

"For me it is a huge relief that even without the floor heating we have the wood stove and I have no fear that we would be cold as I know that the stove will keep us warm."

They plan to live in the yurt for years, while trying to save to rebuild their old farmhouse.

Yurt builders, like Gabor Adorjan, say their orders have soared - he is fully booked until next summer.

"It is rising steeply. Some say this will stay like this in the future probably because many people choose this not only because of the rising energy prices but also because of the rise of the construction prices. To build even a smaller family house is not possible for less than 30-40 millions forints, but one can have a yurt up to 80 square meters for less than 10 million forints and you can furnish it like a family house."

He estimates around 1,000 yurts exist in Hungary now, with an increasing number being used as homes.

Before, they were used only for tourists or people living off-grid.

Building a yurt up to the size of Zih's would cost less than $23,400, Adorjan said.

That's less than a quarter of what a small house would be.

He added that yurts are considerably cheaper to heat, as the air circulating in a single round space keeps warm for longer.

The largest yurt takes around three days to construct.

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