Property: What Goes Up…


Property: Our real estate expert Yannick Callens gives us the latest property news

I am often asked if prices will go up or down in the months and years ahead, and we are talking about a 2-4% decrease in the next two years. The Belgian property market is very conservative, and the Belgian real estate market is becoming increasingly stubborn and is also declining very slowly.

I often give the example of a €100,000 purchase during my presentations to my clients. An acquirer has on average 15% of purchase costs, so his total purchase cost is €115,000. If this same buyer wishes to resell and recover at least what he has invested, he will have to sell at €115,000 for an initial purchase of €100,000.

The real estate market encompasses several types of property. From my point of view, the houses will suffer a little more from the market decrease than the apartments. In the apartment sector, I think we will also feel a stronger decrease in the new apartments. It should not be forgotten that on a new purchase you have to pay the VAT of 21%, which ‘inflates’ the purchase price, making the price per square metre much higher.

Prices in the big cities will hold up because demand is still quite high and there is a lack of supply in the city centres. If you are wondering about buying or selling your property, follow this advice: “Buy when nobody wants to buy and sell when everyone wants to buy.”

And let’s not forget that interest rates are at a very low rate. From my point of view, these rates are not likely to go up any time soon, because if the rates go up that would block the economy, and the state currently does not need this at all, needing instead an economic recovery, as does the banking system. We have to spin the money and restore momentum.