"Real estate prices to drop 2 percent"

The ING banking group estimates that the corona crisis will have a small impact on house prices, expecting a 2 percent drop this year. However, this should only be a temporary effect. 

The housing market has come to a complete standstill, as visits are no longer possible. Those wanting to sell their property, are waiting to put it online. The confinement measures were introduced mid-March, and had a considerable impact already on the figures for the first quarter of the year: -8 percent transactions. 

Steven Trypsteen, an economist working for the ING banking group, also noticed that the number of internet searches for real estate agents has dropped a considerable 50 percent. But this should soon get back to normal once the measures are being relaxed.

The big question is whether the whole corona crisis will have a permanent impact on real estate prices. Usually, the real estate sector recovers faster than the economy. While a temporary dip can trigger a price drop, more potential buyers get interested, which pushes prices up again. Still, Mr Trypsteen estimates that prices will drop 2 percent for the whole of 2020. This will only be temporary, he adds: "Prices will go up again soon after the crisis."