Real estate market continues to falter
For the first time, the Belgian real estate market shows a decline in the prices of existing houses. This decline follows a brief increase in the second quarter, resulting in prices remaining almost unchanged compared to last year.
- Both houses and apartments (existing) did not become more expensive in Belgium in 2023
Houses in Belgium (excluding new construction) fell by 0.23% in the last quarter compared to the third quarter, and apartments also saw a slight negative trend with -0.04%. House prices rose briefly in the second quarter of 2023, but due to the subsequent decline, prices are almost identical to a year ago. The price increase for apartments is also negligible compared to a year ago, at 0.12%.
In all regions, house prices fell in the last quarter. The largest decrease occurred in the Brussels-Capital Region with 3.23%, but this bigger drop is likely due to the smaller number of houses compared to other regions. In Flanders and Wallonia, more modest decreases were recorded at -0.28% and -0.07% respectively. In Wallonia, however, prices still rose by 1% compared to the same period the previous year.
In Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region, the prices for existing apartments dropped over a year by 1.78% and 1% respectively. In Flanders, prices were still 0.67% above the last quarter of 2022, but there too, prices fell by 0.32% in the last quarter.
Falling interest rates, rising prices
Real declines in property prices are quite rare in Belgium. However, the magnitude of these figures should be put into perspective: the decreases are minimal, especially compared to some neighboring countries. Moreover, interest rates have fallen again in the last few months after a long rise, which should give households a bit more breathing space to take out a loan. This increased borrowing capacity could, in turn, lead to slight price increases.
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