Over half of all adult Belgians own property i.e. at least one property. Couples, who bought property jointly, are counted separately. 850,000 owners own more than one property. 300,000 Belgians even own three properties or more and there are 6,500 Belgians, who own over ten properties.
Notary Bart Van Opstal says demand for property surged after the pandemic: “After the first lockdown a large group of people suddenly wanted a holiday home. Many people also wanted to do something with the extra money they had saved and were eager to acquire property”.
Low interest rates encouraged such investments: “We’re exiting a long period during which savings hardly yielded anything and interest rates were low. People who wanted to invest were encouraged towards alternative investments like real estate” says Van Opstal.
The extra demand disrupted the real estate market. As a result many young people were often outbid. “Young families wanting to acquire a first property and over 50s eager to invest were often interested in the same properties and that put up the price” says Van Opstal. “The real estate market has cooled off a little now and the situation is getting back to normal”.
Higher interest rates that have pushed up the price of a mortgage as well as high inflation seem to have turned the tide.
Meanwhile people eager to purchase a holiday home have now already done so. Notaries believe the Belgian housing market is now finding a new balance: “There’s a growing chance you will be able to negotiate more” concludes Van Opstal.