Wallonia to clamp down on surging number of holiday homes

Wallonia to clamp down on surging number of holiday homes
Credit: Ardennes-Etape.

The Walloon Government intends to impose a limit on the number of permissions granted to open gîtes (holiday homes) in order to keep housing affordable for the younger generation of Walloons.

Since the end of the Covid-19 lockdown, Walloon municipalities surrounding the Ardennes have experienced a surge in the number of people, particularly from Flanders, buying second houses and opening gîtes.

This has resulted in even more restricted access to the property market for younger prospective proprietors, who "can no longer pay the market price for a house in their own town," said Audrey Carlier, Tourism Councillor for the Rendeux municipality in the Luxembourg province.

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In response, the Government has decided to take action and impose an operating permit for these gîtes.

Walloon Minister for Spatial Planning Willy Borsus told Flemish media outlets that while "Flemish investments and visitors remain welcome" in the region, "we need to allow municipalities and towns the ability to make their own decisions when appropriate."

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