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Average Belgian home is getting smaller, study shows

15:29 25/03/2023

The average living area of new constructions has decreased from 150m² to 125m² over the past 20 years, according to construction confederation Embuild.

The decrease is believed to be linked to the rising cost of heating homes as well as increasingly expensive building materials.

More than four out of five construction companies have reportedly said that energy savings are the most important factor for their customers.

As a result, customers are increasingly demanding smaller, more well-insulated buildings with heating systems that do not rely on oil or gas.

“Today, I have requests for houses between 80m² and 120m² of living space with, in addition, solar panels, heat pumps and double glazing” entrepreneur Pascal Mosca told RTBF.

"We feel that with the increases in the price of energy and the cost of materials, people are paying attention.”

The rising cost of both land and construction materials is also eating into people’s budgets, said Liège-based architect Rafael Lecomte.

“Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine have accelerated this phenomenon,” he told RTBF. “At first, it was wood and steel, but today the trend is reversed, especially for wood, the price of which is falling sharply. Currently, it is products such as brick and glass that cost the most because they are made using gas.”

The architect said that many customers were simply unable to afford the rising costs.

“We have one out of two projects that don't come to fruition because when we arrive at the quote with the contractors, it's so high that neither the banks nor the customers follow them in the project,” he said.

Written by Paul Millar