An Insight Into The Belgium Property Market

As far as the population is concerned, the exact figures of the real estate market in Belgium are unclear. According to estimations, there are on average around 4 million people living permanently in Belgium (a lot of them live abroad for part of the year), so this means an average household size of 2 persons. It has also been observed that many people do not consider their own home to be their primary residence. This suggests that real estate – depending on your perspective – could either be overcrowded or underutilized.

Belgium had 10 million overnight stays by foreign tourists in 2012, which makes an average length of stay of 1.3 nights per person (if you assume each stay has just one tourist). So even if only a small percentage of homes are used as short-term rentals, the tourism market could be a serious competition for residential properties.

As far as the population is concerned, the exact figures of the real estate market in Belgium are unclear. According to estimations, there are on average around 4 million people living permanently in Belgium.

Only 50% or more of houses ( are occupied permanently – meaning that about half of all houses are ‘ghost houses’ – they are only lived in for part of the year. These ghost houses can be seen throughout Belgium, but especially along the coast and in cities like Bruges and Ghent. Rental prices in these areas may also be affected by this phenomenon. No official sources seem to agree upon an estimate for how many ghost houses exist across the country, partly because it is hard to distinguish ghost housing from second homes. In 2014, however, newspaper De Tijd estimated were around 1 million empty homes in Flanders.

A study by Eurostat showed that between 2007 and 2013, the number of people living in Belgium rose from 10.7m to 11m. That means a population growth of 4%, which is significantly lower than the 7% average for EU countries during this period. However, according to Statistics Belgium, at least 600,000 foreigners have migrated into Belgium since 2008 – an increase of about 3%.

There are plenty of reasons why people may choose not to live permanently at their address: students who live away from home so they can go to university, expats who are posted abroad for work purposes, etc…

It is important to know that the official figure does not include many immigrants or illegal residents/refugees who may choose not to register at their address.

The number of unoccupied homes varies depending on the source: there is no official data on this, just estimations and observations. One explanation could be that it’s hard to distinguish between second homes and empty homes.

In 2012, Statistics Belgium estimated that “around 300,000 dwellings are vacant all year round”. In 2014, demographer Jan Hertogen said on national TV that there were more than 1 million ghost houses in Flanders. We can assume this number is growing because of the population growth.

The years 2006-2011 saw an increase of around 4% in the total number of homes, according to figures from Eurostat.

Energy savings are a main driver for energy renovation works on both residential and non-residential buildings. In Belgium, all households are legally obliged to have their home checked at least once every 10 years for its energy performance – even new housing must comply with certain standards regarding insulation etc… However, only half of all Belgian dwellings have already received an official eco label since 2000.

According to the National Environmental Survey by Statistics Belgium, almost all households in Flanders (99%) have an electrical energy meter for their home. Around 90% of these homes also have a gas meter.

The government has proposed allowing real estate companies to receive tax benefits if they sign up to the ‘energy renovation’ programme; this is aimed at improving energy efficiency across the country and encouraging people to invest in eco-friendly living. Furthermore, it could help reduce ghost housing by stimulating foreign buyers/renters who want better insulation etc…

Another option would be to focus on promoting rental properties (and home sharing) instead of second homes because renting out your property should lower your CO2 emissions – while not having to pay utility bills or other maintenance costs or taxes should make it more profitable for landlords who may want to rent out their properties.

However, this should not be an excuse for speculation and should come with a limit on the number of years a property can remain unoccupied.

It would also require strict guidelines: if someone wants to buy a second home as an investment, they will expect it to bring in returns later; without any kind of constraints, this could lead to speculative purchases which might end up reducing rental space (and thus, ending up driving rents upwards) or ghost housing (which has negative consequences such as wasting energy and resources).

One solution suggested by ASPB involves promoting buildings with low environmental impact – i.e. those that make use of renewable energies; these buildings could be given better access to financing.

ASPB also recommends discouraging building unoccupied homes in rural areas (via taxes/incentives for local councils).

Another idea would be to offer tax breaks on the purchase of second homes which are currently used as dwellings, but fulfilled certain criteria concerning energy efficiency or renovation works. There is little support for this amongst the general population though – only 5% welcomed this idea in 2013.

It remains necessary to find a way to encourage home sharing and turn underused houses into subsidized housing instead of leaving them empty – these houses could then be rented out by housing cooperatives to people who couldn’t afford market rates because they are students, job seekers or young families etc… This kind of scheme has already been tested in Ghent

Posts from the same category:

Next Post

Spectacular Things to Know about Spectacle Frames

Mon Nov 22 , 2021
The metal frames tend to be easier to adjust and are more flexible compared to plastic frames, not to mention that they are also lighter and slimmer.  When it comes to metal frames, titanium is considered as the lightest material. You can also find frames made of nickel alloy or stainless steel. Flexible metal frames were also developed for the past few years. Even though metal frames have more limited color choices, the selection continues to grow day by day. The common downside is that there are people who develop allergies to metal and this makes plastic spectacle frames a […]
Plastic spectacle frames for men