The property size that an average Belgian household can afford has fallen by 18 square metres since the beginning of the year, highlighting the rise in both real estate prices (+5.9% according to Statbel) as well as interest rates (2.5%).
The findings follow research carried out by the real estate platform Immoweb, which indicated that the average household in Belgium can now afford a property of 85 square metres – down from 103 square metres at the start of 2022.
The reduction in size is roughly equivalent to a large bedroom and stokes fears that prospective homeowners will be excluded from the property market or at the very least be forced to "curtail their ambitions in terms of surface size and location."
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French-language newspaper L'Echo reported that the number of mortgages taken out by Belgians in the first half of the year was 20% lower than during the same period in 2021.
Yet despite the reduction in surface area, the property platform noted that the average Belgian household is still able to purchase one of the largest average properties in Europe. By comparison, French households can only afford 61 square metres of living space.