'Impossible to buy a home' for two-thirds of people aged 21-35

'Impossible to buy a home' for two-thirds of people aged 21-35
Credit: Belga

Two-thirds of non-home-owners between the ages of 21 and 35 in Belgium feel buying a home is currently impossible, and 10% said they believed it would never be possible.

Even those with a high level of education and income, most young people feel they are excluded from buying their own property due to a lack of sufficient resources, according to a survey of 2,000 people in Belgium commissioned by the financial advice firm Immotheker Finotheker.

"This is a worrying development. We need to be able to offer our young people prospects. Because if they have to keep putting off buying their own home, they may end up giving it up altogether sooner or later," said John Romain of Immotheker Finotheker.

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The inability of young people to buy property could have a dramatic effect on the poverty rate in Belgium, according to the consultancy firm, as evidence has shown that people over 65 who do not own their own homes are at a much greater risk of falling into poverty.

"House prices have reached record levels, and combined with an interest rate on savings close to 0%, which pushes savers to invest in real estate, a toxic cocktail has been created, that caused a marked increase in prices and makes real estate inaccessible to first-time buyers and especially to young and single people," Romain explained.

In the last decade, the proportion of young people under 35 who have taken out a home loan through the advice bureau has dropped by 20% to 41%. The financial advice firm has called on the government to adjust regulations to solve this issue.

More and more young people are having to postpone the purchase of their first home, which has resulted in the average age of property buyers in our country going up to 42.

Within this age group, only 43% are currently homeowners, half of whom say they received help from their parents or other family members, 37% received some money and 16% were able to borrow from their parents. With a few exceptions, the average amount received from parents is €58,031.

For more than half of the young Belgians (53%) who bought a home during the pandemic, the search took less than three months, whereas this was the case for only 40% of buyers in the last five years (before the coronavirus crisis), a survey conducted by Axa among 1,000 young people (22-35 years old) found.

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