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Flat prices rise most sharply on the coast

House prices across Flanders rose 8.5% last year according to an annual survey conducted by real estate company ERA in conjunction with Antwerp University.  For flats the price hike was 8.4%.  The price of flats on the coast even rose 11.3% last year.

ERA’s Johan Krijgsman says if you realise a flat in the resort of Nieuwpoort can change hands for 400,000 euros, then you see the price hike is considerable. “The Flemish coast is becoming increasingly popular, a phenomenon that has been fuelled by the pandemic.  More and more people are holidaying at home making coastal apartments more attractive”.

The rise in registration fees, a tax paid when you purchase property, is also seen as grounds for the hike.  “Many people were anxious to conclude the purchase of a holiday home before the rise on 1 January” says Krijgsman.

Flats on the coast were also being snapped up far more readily last year.

“Across Flanders the speed at which flats were bought rose 8.6% last year.  On the coast flats were being sold over 30% more quickly last year in comparison with 2020” says real estate expert Sven Damen of Antwerp University.

The recent floods have impacted on prices also in Flanders.  Since July house prices in areas that are vulnerable to flooding dropped 4%. Nearly 89% of homebuyers are now taking this aspect into account when house-hunting.

For the first time in 5 years the prices of homes in medium and larger-sized towns are not keeping pace with the general price hike. 

“Since 2018 house prices in medium and larger-sized towns have been rising faster than the average. No longer” says Prof Damen, who believes greater importance being given to larger homes and the presence of gardens and a green environment may play a role. 

Leuven remains the priciest large to medium-sized town in Flanders.  Homes there are 7% more expensive than in Antwerp, second on the list.  Bruges is third on the list with Genk, Roeselare and Kortrijk featuring as the cheapest major Flemish towns.

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