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Uccle and Knokke see rising sales of properties over €1 million

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: This picture shows a house key laying on euro notes. (BELGA PHOTO JONAS HAMERS)
06:10 02/06/2021

Some 78 homes with a price tag of more than €1 million were sold in the Brussels municipality of Uccle last year. Only in the coastal town of Knokke-Heist were more homes in this price range sold in 2020.

It is the highest number in years. The notable increase can be explained by, among other things, low interest rates and rising inflation.

In Belgium, 1,132 homes worth more than €1 million changed hands last year. This represents an increase of 15% compared to 2019, according to figures from the Belgian statistics agency Statbel. The sale of homes worth over €1 million is mainly a Brussels and Flemish phenomenon. In Wallonia only 101 properties in that price category were sold.

For Brussels, Uccle is the leading commune in this category. In the national ranking, the municipality is second only to Knokke-Heist with 257 homes. Antwerp comes next with 61 buildings, followed by Ghent with 46 houses.

But in a period of economic recession, why are prices in the real estate market skyrocketing to such a degree?  "It is certainly not a typical Belgian phenomenon,” said real estate agent Roel Druyts. “You see the same thing happening abroad."

"Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have spent more time at home and people have become more committed to maximum living comfort,” Druyts explained. “Because there were fewer opportunities to spend money, the budget was also higher for a lot of people."

And the purchasing power of Belgians continues to steadily increase. In addition, low interest rates also play an important role. This also applies to inflation, which is on the rise. "In 2010, mortgage rates were still more than 4%. Now they are just over 1%,” Roel Druyts continued. “The money that real estate buyers save in interest payments can be invested in property."

"Moreover, some economists expect the economic recovery to rekindle inflation,” Druyts added. ”In that scenario, a villa or a luxury apartment is more stable in terms of value than savings or investments."

Written by Nick Amies