On Friday, Prime Minister Charles Michel criticised the fact that “false information” about mortgages had appeared in the media. The Minister’s council has not put any measures in place or even talked about credit restrictions, as several newspapers had claimed.
A petition titled “after the witch-hunt against the unemployed, the witch-hunt against homeowners” has been launched on the internet. Its founder Lofti Mostefa (the PS Communal Councillor) has criticised a royal decree proposal currently being drawn up. It would limit the amount a future buyer could borrow through a mortgage to 80% of the property’s value. The buyer would have to provide 20% as equity. He said a large number of people would end up unable to own a property if this were to happen.
“This is fake news”, Mr Michel said on Friday.
The National Bank received a warning about problems with the Belgian housing market from the European Banking Authority. At the end of May, the government will decide whether to prolong a measure put in place by its predecessor, which forces banks to increase equity. One possibility available to try and deal with the housing market crisis and buyer debt is to increase equity. This would increase the tax on interest by 0.1 or 0.2%, according to finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt.