The growth of the tourism and hospitality industry played an important role in the gentrification of the post-socialist city of Budapest. Although disinvestment was present, reinvestment was moderate for decades after 1989. Privatisation of individual tenancies and the consequent fragmented ownership structure of heritage buildings made refurbishment and reinvestment less profitable. Because of local contextual factors and global changes in consumption habits, the function of the dilapidated 19th century housing stock transformed in the 2000s, and the residential neighbourhood which was the subject of the research turned into the so called ‘party district’. The process was followed in our ongoing field research. The functional change made possible speculative investment in inner city housing and played a major role in the commodification of the disinvested housing stock.