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Belgium in Brief: Would You Buy A House?

Can young people afford to buy houses in Belgium? Honestly, it seems to vary depending on what you consider a house, what you can put up with and who you listen to.

For instance:

According to the National Bank of Belgium, buying a house has not become more inaccessible for younger people in the country,

According to a recent survey of 2,000 people in Belgium, however, two-thirds of non-home-owners between the ages of 21 and 35 in Belgium said they felt buying a home is currently impossible.

Now, as with many things, additional factors are what make the difference here. The way I see it, what we’re looking at is this:

Can people get help from family members? Half of the current homeowners said they received help from their parents or other family members, 37% received some money and 16% borrowed from their parents.

Where are you looking? Buying property in major cities will always be difficult, leaving would-be homeowners choosing between buying in a new location or renting where they feel comfortable.

Can you put down any money on the loan? The number of first-time buyers seeking loans covering over 90% of the property’s value has decreased from 45% in 2019 to 30% in 2020. In particular, loans, where first-time buyers put 10 to 20% of the value on the table themselves (or with parental support), are clearly on the rise.

What do you want? A 1 bed flat? A shell with a garden? Maybe you want to go for a fixer-upper with a downstairs toilet, an upstairs kitchen and a bath in the bedroom?

This final question is the big one, because that’s going to impact the eventual cost on a massive scale.

Speaking from experience as someone who managed to buy a shell… baths that drain into showers and wiring that Dr Frankenstein would have considered risky are not exactly a problem you can live with for long.

So today, more than anything, I want to know your experience? Did you take the plunge? Will you never buy? Or do you just not know?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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