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Housing - the big picture

(Image: La Sucrerie by Atenor)
(Image: La Sucrerie by Atenor)

As the residential segment continues to make its way onto the top table of the real estate industry, developer Immobel – itself heavily involved – has produced some figures. These show what the current state of the housing market is, with facts and figures.

Firstlt, the upward trend in Brussels residential real estate recorded a moderate performance in 2017. According to the preliminary 2017data from Fod Economie, figures are mixed with slight increases in apartment prices registered (1.7%) and larger ones in house prices (6.3%) as well as in villas (5.3%). Market fundamentals are still broadly supportive of Brussels residential real estate.

Where the regions are concerned, Immobel says that multiple dynamics are affecting the residential real estate market in submarkets outside of Brussels. Specific urban centers are seeing a movement of retirees from homes to apartments, while larger cities like Antwerp and Ghent are being supported by a growing local population.

All of this is of course impacted by the population of the country. In 2017, Belgium added 54,178 people (0.48%) among its ranks. This increase consisted of 11,322 from the net natural balance and 42,239 from net international migrations. The number of households has also been increasing in Belgium but at a slower rate than the wider population. Households in 2017 amounted to 4,877,805.

Moving on to the critical issue of building more stock, Immobel finds that new stock increased by 50,836 net units in 2017. Of these, 34,105 (67.1%) were apartments. The City of Brussels witnessed apartment construction of 1,086 units in 2017 alone, representing a decline of 11.0% from the previous year. Bruges and Leuven have also added substantially to stock.

Average transaction prices for apartments have been steadily increasing in 2017, registering 1.7% increase for Belgium as a whole. Markets with moderate price increases were Gent (3.8%), Bruges (1.6%), Charleroi (15.1%), while Brussels Region (0.5%), Antwerp (0.7%) and Leuven (0.1%) were relatively stable.
Tim Harrup
25-04-2018


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