The real estate sector is doing well, according to figures from real estate agents ERA and Century 21. In the past three months, sales of houses and apartments have increased by 15 to 21 percent. Corona clearly plays a role. This is evident from the choice for the Belgian coast and for a house with a garden. Prices are mainly rising in the big cities.
The two real estate offices we contacted – Century 21 and ERA – report similar figures: Century 21 sold 15 to 20 percent more real estate in the months of June-July-August, at ERA it was 21 percent. The two are the largest on the Flemish market.
ERA did see a significant outlier in the month of June, says Johan Krijgsman: “At that time 39 percent more homes were sold than in 2019, which is an enormous catch-up movement.”
This was a catch-up movement, because since the lockdown measures in mid-March it was no longer possible to pay viewing visits to houses or apartments, and office visits to the notary were also limited as much as possible, although sales via video were possible.
Kim Ruysen of Century 21 saw a huge increase in sales, especially on the coast: “Some offices there sold twice as much as last year. In general, we see an increase of about 50 to 60 percent on the coast. ”
35 percent more homes were sold in the Ardennes. That is not as spectacular as on the coast, but the phenomenon is the same. Those looking for a second home are looking for what they are looking for in their own country instead of in Spain or Croatia. There is also a corona effect here.
Corona increases the value of a house with a garden
Johan Krijgsman of ERA Belgium also sees this corona effect in the type of real estate that is sold. Whoever chooses an existing building will in almost all cases go for a house. With new construction, this choice is less pronounced and buyers also opt for an apartment: “The new-build apartments of today are therefore built in better locations, with communal greenery and larger terraces. In other words, more corona-proof. ”
But there is also a corona effect in the houses, says Kim Ruysen of Century 21: “We clearly notice that the size of a terrace now plays a much more important role. And older people who were about to exchange a house with a garden for an apartment, they are now going to renovate earlier and keep their home because of the added value of the garden. ”