Real estate activity rebounded in the third quarter of this year, after plunging from March to early May, but was still lower than in 2019, according to Belgium’s federation of public notaries.
Total real estate activity in the third quarter was 11.6% higher than in the corresponding period of last year, the Fédération royale du notariat belge (FEDNOT) noted in its latest real estate barometre.
However, “the market has not yet returned to last year’s level,” according to the report. It noted that the number of transactions in the first nine months of the year was still 3.5% lower than in the corresponding period of 2019.
The report noted a shift towards country-style living in Wallonia and Flanders following the lockdown prompted by the novel Coronavirus epidemic, with more and more clients seeking homes with a garden.
On the other hand, the rebound was less marked in Brussels, but this was also because it had the most buoyant housing market of the three regions in the early part of the year.
Home purchase prices in Belgium averaged 274,409 euros in the first nine months of this year, a 4.7% increase compared to 2019. “If inflation (0.3%) is factored in, that means homes today cost on average 11,000 euros more than last year,” the report noted.
While prices went up in all three regions, the increase was lowest in Brussels, where the average home price rose by 3.9% to 497,463 euros. In Flanders, the average price topped the 300,000-euro mark for the first time ever, while in Wallonia, it was still 25% lower than the national average.
The average price of an apartment also went up, amounting to 243,818 euros, 6.7% more than in the corresponding period of 2019. This is “the highest increase since 2011,” FEDNOT reported.