- House prices rose by 2.42% (2.51% inflation-adjusted), after increases of 0.06% in 2013, 1.1% in 2012, 3.31% in 2011 and 5.05% in 2010.
- Apartment prices increased slightly by 0.52% (0.62% inflation-adjusted) y-o-y, after a fall of 0.59% in 2013 and rises of 2.62% in 2012, 4.62% in 2011 and 5.43% in 2010
- Villa prices rose by 1.82% (1.92% inflation-adjusted), an improvement from a decline of 1.03% in 2013, and a meagre increase of 0.25% in 2012
The purchase price of existing dwellings rose by 1.7% (1.8% inflation-adjusted) in 2014 from a year earlier. On the other hand, the price of new dwellings fell by 0.6% (-0.5% inflation-adjusted).† The average price of regular houses in Belgium stood at Ä202,137 in the third quarter of last year:
- In Brussels-Capital region, house prices fell by 1.33% (-1.33% inflation-adjusted) to an average of Ä370,131
- In the Flemish region (Flanders), house prices increased slightly by 0.15% (0.15% inflation-adjusted) to an average of Ä215,053
- In the Walloon region (Wallonia), house prices rose by 1.57% (1.57% inflation-adjusted) to an average of Ä153,082
During Belgiumís housing boom (2000-Q3 2008), nationwide house prices soared by 129% (86% inflation-adjusted).
Since the crisis, Belgian house prices have followed the economy. In years when the economy was strong, house-prices rose. When the economy was weak, house prices stagnated. The Belgian economy expanded by 1% in 2014, the strongest growth since its 1.8% expansion in 2011, mainly due to growth in the industrial and construction sectors. The economy is projected to grow by 1.25% and 1.5% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to Rabobank Group.
Analysis of Belgium Residential Property Market »
Square metre (sq. m.) prices of apartments and houses in the prime districts of Brussels have been increasing, according to the latest survey of Global Property Guide. So too have rents.
All of the apartments and houses included in our survey are located in the prime areas of Brussels. The prime areas we took were Laeken, Nieder-over-Heembeck, Auderghem, Ixelles, St. Gilles, Uccle, Woluwe-St. Pierre, and Woluwe-St. Pierre. Our survey included around 2,300 apartments and houses.
The biggest reason that investors in Belgium will be discouraged is that round trip transaction costs are high for buyers of residential property. See our Belgium residential property transaction costs analysis and our Residential property transaction costs in Belgium compared to other countries
Capital Gains: Capital gains tax of 16.5% is payable on gains on developed property held for less than five years. After a holding period of five years, no Capital Gains Tax is payable.
Inheritance: Inheritance tax rates in Belgium are progressive and vary according to the degree of kinship, region where the inheritance is opened, and the share inherited by each of the heirs.
Residents: Residents are taxed on worldwide income at progressive rates, from 25% to 50%.
Rents: Rents can be freely negotiated but rent increases above the inflation rate cannot be written into the contract. If there is a written contract, the rent will be automatically adapted once a year in accordance with the cost of living. Deposit payments must not exceed three monthís rent.
Tenant Security: Belgiumís landlord and tenant law is restrictive as regards the length of rental contracts. The main options for the duration of a lease are: a contract of 9 years and, alternatively, a contract for less than three years.
Belgiumís economy grew by 1% from in 2014, according to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), the strongest figure since its 1.8% expansion in 2011, mainly due to growth in the industrial and construction sectors. The economy is projected to grow by 1.25% and 1.5% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to Rabobank Group.
From 1997 to 2007, the country enjoyed a healthy economic growth of about 2.4% per year.† But since the crisis growth has been weak.† GDP growth was 0.99% in 2008, -2.8% in 2009, 2.3% in 2010, 1.8% in 2011, - 0.14% in 2012, and 0.2% in 2013, mainly due to the adverse impact of the eurozone debt crisis, according to Belgostat.
In 2014, the countryís seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 8.5%, according to the NBB. †The jobless rate for men was 8.9% in January 2015 while it was 8.1% for women.
Falling inflation remains a concern, as elsewhere in the eurozone. In February 2015, Belgiumís inflation rate was -0.4%, based on figures from the NBB. The country had an average annual inflation rate of 2% from 2010 to 2014, according to the IMF.
In 2014, the countryís budget deficit was estimated at about - 3.3% of GDP, according to the National Bank of Belgium. Belgiumís gross national debt amounted to 102% of GDP in 2014, the highest level since 2002.