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Belgian real estate prices rise by 11.8% per square metre
Belgium is experiencing the second highest real estate price growth in Europe, with costs climbing 11.8% to a total of €2,169 per square metre since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
Only Germany has seen a higher rise (+23.5%) in price per square metre, according to figures from real estate website Immoweb. The current Belgian price of €2,169/m2 represents an increase of almost 6.3% in just one year.
“This price dynamic is driven by Brussels, with €3,329/m2, followed by the Flemish Region with €2,263/m2 and Wallonia with €1,638/m2,” Immoweb explained.
Still, Belgium has some of the lowest property prices in Europe, along with Italy (€1,684/m2) and Spain (€1,824/m2).
The United Kingdom (€3,638/m2) is the most expensive country in the region, followed by Germany and France, which have an average price of €3,006/m2.
The attractiveness of urban areas also seems to be declining, Immoweb reports.
“With the health crisis, teleworking has become more widespread, forcing companies to review their work policies,”said Immoweb managing director Piet Derriks.
“At the same time, successive confinements have created new expectations among European households. As a result, more and more Europeans have turned to cheaper real estate in suburban areas.”
Cheaper than other European cities, but prices likely to keep rising
Immoweb pointed out that despite the increase, the purchasing power of a two-person household is on average 66m2 in Brussels, making it one of the most accessible European capitals, ahead of Lisbon, Berlin, Madrid, Paris, London and Rome.
Nevertheless, the surge in home prices in Belgium has had a significant effect, in particular when it comes to young people’s ability to purchase their first home.
A recent report from the National Bank of Belgium found that residential property price growth has affected all regions of the country and all types of properties, from townhouses and villas to apartments.
The average amount borrowed for the purchase of a home rose from €135,100 at the end of 2020 to €144,300 in November 2021.
National Bank governor Pierre Wunsch said real estate costs will continue to rise, complicated by scarcity in the housing market.
“Today, real estate prices are rising because there is scarcity – if you want to live in the centre of Brussels, you will pay more than the cost of building an apartment or house in Brussels,” Wunsch explained.
“We have real concern in this regard. If at some point we don't build more housing, we won't have a safety valve.”