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Belgians take on more mortgage despite coronavirus crisis

© Belga

The number of mortgage loan applications fell by a fifth in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, but the average amount lent increased by 9.2%, the consultancy firm Immotheker Finotheker reports on Friday.

According to its analysis, Belgians borrowed €15,992 more.

Those who took out a mortgage loan during the first half of the year borrowed an average of €189,381, compared with €173,389 a year earlier, the company detailed based on figures from the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). These are loans for the purchase, possibly with renovation, of existing housing or new buildings.

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Property prices have continued to rise in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the consultancy firm pointed out. In April and May, during the confinement period, the average loan increased to €191,956, up 10.2% compared to the same period in 2019.

This increase is mainly explained by the scarcity of real estate supply, according to John Romain, from Immotheker Finotheker. “Demand for real estate is outstripping supply. Many buyers simply can’t find a home.”

Potential buyers are also less likely to find a home due to the scarcity on the real estate market and the National Bank’s credit crunch, the analysis continues. This is also reflected in fewer loan applications. In the first six months of the year, applications for home loans fell by 19.9% in Belgium.

The Brussels Times

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