Jelle Jansegers

"Housing market may cool down in 2022"

Real estate prices have been booming for some time now in Belgium. However, experts think that the trend of fast increasing prices may slow down. 

Experts see the first signs of a relaxation in the second half of this year. The number of transactions was 11.3 percent down on the first six months of 2021. Last year, the end of the year showed a sharp increase, while in 2019 the two halves were balanced. 

"We saw this trend in the three regions. When the housing market cools down, there is a better balance between supply and demand, between buyers and sellers", seays Bart Van Opstal of the Federation of Notary Publics.  

2021 was a surprise year

The cooling down will be welcome since 2021 was a record year in various aspects. The number of houses and apartments sold reached a historic high, with the most transactions in Antwerp, East and West Flanders. This was to the surprise of the notaries, who expected a slowing down due to the corona crisis. 

Big increase

This historic high in the number of sales also triggered record prices for real estate. In a year's time, real estate prices went 7.5 percent up on average. Taking into account the inflation rate, this was adjusted to 4.6 percent or 13,000 euros in just one year's time. 

The cheapest segment (below 300,000 euros) seems to be an exception in times of price hikes for real estate. Prices here went down slightly in the last quarter. "But this could be caused by the fact that the purchase tax for a house drops to 3 percent (coming from 6) in January for first-home buyers. Potential house buyers may postpone their decision." 

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