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    2016 record year for Belgian property market

    © Belga
    Last year (2016) was a record year for bricks and mortar acquisitions.
    © Belga

    The Belgian property market had a record jump in transactions of 8.2% compared to the previous year, per figures published in the Belgian property lawyer’s barometer publication today.
    In detail, the transaction numbers in Brussels increased by 12.5% and 13.6% in Flanders, with a notable jump of 19.8% in West Flanders. At the same time there was a decrease of 2.8% in Wallonia.

    Moreover, the average price of a residential property remained relatively stable during last year, with average increase of 0.9% compared to 2015 (with increases of 0.4% in Wallonia, 0.8% in Flanders and 4.8% in Brussels). In 2016, the average price came to 236,831 euros, compared to 234,699 euros in 2015. Taking account of 1.7% inflation, in real terms house prices have actually taken a dive.

    The average price of a flat increased by 3.6% compared to 2015. Last year, the average price of a flat reached 212,465 euros, compared to 205,148 euros in 2015. Within this sector, Wallonia a recorded a 5.2% increase, with the comparator percentages in Brussels and Flanders amounting to 3% and 4% respectively.

    Lastly, the average price per m2 for building land has continued to increase, varying between +3.8% in Flanders to +5% in Wallonia.

    Bart Van Opstal, the spokesman for notaire.be commented, “Low interest rates are undeniably a key factor” in the 2016 results.

    He went on to add, “Such interest rates have facilitated access to property for countless young people. The property market is also interesting when considering property as an investment, which takes new forms such as garages, hotel rooms or bedsits.”

    Van Opstal also pointed to the impact of the ageing population saying, “Older people are selling their property to buy a flat or various types of supported accommodation.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times