In Belgium as a whole notaries recorded a 2.7% fall in real estate transactions, while in the Ardennes, a favourite bolthole for many Flemings eager to escape the rat race at home transactions were up 5.3%. Building land too could count on a lot of interest.
With increased demand the average price of an Ardennais home shot up 10.8% in only one year. That’s double the hike across Belgium. The average property in the Ardennes will today set you back 174,245 euros, which is still 30,000 euros less than the Walloon average for a house.
Of course, prices differ according to location and type of home. In Viroinval and Hastières, where there are loads of chalets and residential caravans – the average price is 110,000 euros. Head for Durbuy, Erezée, Gouvy, Trois-Ponts, La Roche-en-Ardenne or Houffalize and the average price tops 200,000. A year ago not a single Ardennais municipality was recording average prices like that.
Durbuy notary Frédéric Dumoulin sees various reasons for the interest: “Low interest rates mean there’s not much point putting you cash in a savings account. The pandemic too played a role with people eager for green spaces. The Ardennes are a good destination if you think you may be holidaying at home for years.”
Figures from the notaries show that in some municipalities one in three buyers were Flemish. In Rendeux this figure topped 43%. Most of the buyers are in their fifties and sixties and are eying their retirement.