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Belgium in Brief: Garages Before Houses

Credit : Belga

Property prices in Belgium continue to soar, but this doesn’t seem to deter people from entering the real estate market.

Since 2019, the comparable year available, house prices increased by 6.6% across Belgium, while in the last five years, this price has risen by more than a quarter (26.2%).

But there’s more to it than simply houses getting more expensive: a noticeable change has taken place in the type of property bought.

According to the latest Real Estate Barometer of the Federation of Notaries (Fednot), demand for land and garages was much higher during the first nine months of this year than for residential properties.

The “relatively limited increase in residential property sales may have something to do with the price increase in the previous quarter,” according to notary Bart van Opstal, spokesperson for Notaris.be.

He added that people are now also less likely to buy an existing house and choose to build (or have one built) themselves.

“That may have to do with the pandemic, but also with a conscious choice to build energy-efficiently, in accordance with the strict insulation standards,” van Opstal explained.

However, the notaries added that a temporary cooling of the property market may be seen in the fourth and last quarter, particularly in Flanders, 2020 in Flanders.

“It is not impossible that buyers will be wary in the coming months as a result of the announced change in the registration tax. If people would buy less, prices might also rise more slowly,” said van Opstal.

Have the increased property prices put you off buying a new house or investing in a second residence? Or are you more likely to wait it out in the hope that prices will drop again?

Let @johnstonjules know (or @LaurenWalkerH, as she wrote it today) 

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