In Flanders, only 12,837 permits were issued last year for a home renovations. That is the lowest number since 1997. A planning permit is required for comprehensive renovations, and because of that only a small number people living in Flanders are willing to make such an effort, according to the Flemish Construction Confederation (VCB). The 12,837 renovations permits granted last year represented 19 percent less than in 2016 and the lowest number since 1997, according to Marc Dillen of the VCB.
Dillen regrets the decline: “More housing renovations would have to be done to make the heavily outdated Flemish residential property more energy-efficient. About 60 percent of Flemish homes date from before 1970. These homes require a thorough refurbishing, especially in the area of insulation.”
In order to make all those homes energy-efficient by 2050, 2.5 percent of the existing homes would have to be renovated annually, the VCB calculated. That pace is three times higher than the current rate .
According to Marc Dillen, it has become financially more difficult for many families to do major renovation work “because the banks require a larger financial stake for a loan”. That is why many existing homes are purchased without the buyers renovating them thoroughly afterwards. “In general, they are limited to smaller renovation works for which no permit is required”, says Dillen.
The Brussels Times