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    Third-quarter of 2016: 10% fall in property transactions

    © Belga
    Property transactions nosedived in the third quarter.
    © Belga

    In the third quarter of 2016, Belgium property transactions plummeted, by 9.5% compared to the previous quarter and by 1,9%, using the annual market rate as the indicator. This emerges from the Baromètre des Notaires (a publication for property lawyers) published on Thursday.

    The property market proved to be particularly quiet in July, with a reduction of 16.1% in transactions compared to July 2015.

    On the other hand, when assessed in the same like-for-like manner, August recorded an average annual growth of 3%, whilst September remained the same.

    The average third-quarter house price was 237.996 euros (up by 0.5% compared to the third quarter).

    In the same period, the average apartment price was relatively unchanged, going from 213,394 euros to 213,803 euros (a growth of 0.2%).

    Lastly, the price of building plots increased by 4.8% compared to the second quarter of this year, fixed at an average of 187 euros per m².

    However within this category, there were significant regional disparities, with this price varying from 86 euros per m² in Wallonia to 254 euros in Flanders and even 685 euros à Brussels.

    Bart Van Opstal, the spokesman for the Royal Federation of Belgian Notaries said, “Certainly, we may conclude that the fall in the number of transactions partially goes hand-in-hand with the summer months, which traditionally constitute a calmer period for the property market.”

    He went further saying, “We should await the next Baromètre report to see if there really is a converse trend.”

    He added, “On a year-on-year basis, 2016 has significantly better results than in 2015.”

    He went further, “Comparing the first nine months of 2016 to the same period in 2015, indeed, we note an increase of 8.4% in the number of transactions.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times