Expensive mansions and villas used to be difficult to sell in Belgium, but the market has improved significantly, show figures of real estate agents Van der Build. While most of us would think of older couples as potential buyers, it turns out that those aged between 30 and 45 are surprisingly active on this particular market.
It has become less of a difficult task to sell homes for amounts between 750,000 euros and 1.5 million. The average time to sell it was 149 days last year, compared to 315 days five years ago. Last year, some 20,000 luxury homes were sold, a number which is about 30 percent up on the year 2015.
The reversed trend can be explained by the end of the banking crisis, says Stefaan Coucke of Van der Build. “This is some time behind us already, but it takes time before buyers regain confidence in the Belgian economy.”
The new buyers are often relatively young middle-class double-income families, and no longer buyers of 50+. When they spend a lot of money on real estate, it’s not because they want a big garden, but because of other aspects, says Coucke. “The trend is to live smaller. People no longer want a large garden because of maintenance costs.”
“Eventually people start buying again”
The trend has been confirmed by the Belgian notaries. Notary public Bart Van Opstal: “The real estate sector in Belgium (for luxury properties, red.) was in the doldrums for a number of years, and prices dropped. In the end, people start buying again. And there was the economic recovery.”