House prices in Flanders fall for the first time in a decade
The average price of a house in Flanders was 1.9 per cent lower at the end of last year than at the end of 2022 - the first price drop in a decade, the latest analysis by real estate platform ERA showed on Friday. Flats, on the other hand, became more expensive by an average of 1.5 per cent.
While house prices were still rising in the first half of the year, there has been a sharp slowdown in recent months, the analysis shows. In addition to the fall in prices, houses were on the market for longer: 103 days on average, 18 days longer than in 2022.
ERA points to the rapid rise in mortgage rates, which has sharply reduced borrowing capacity, especially for first-time buyers. "Combined with the need for renovation, this is putting downward pressure on prices," it said.
At the same time, the analysis shows a property market moving at different speeds. For example, the EPC score, which reflects a property's energy efficiency, has become very important in determining price movements. Inefficient homes with scores of E or F have lost much more value than homes with scores of A or B. Overall, an EPC A home is now 17.1 per cent more expensive than a similar EPC D home.
From the beginning of 2023, anyone buying a house with a low energy rating in Flanders will be obliged to upgrade the property to at least a D rating within five years, requiring costly renovations. Since the introduction of these mandatory renovations, energy-inefficient houses are being offered for sale at lower prices, statistics showed last October.
#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK