If you’re interested in the Belgian property market, you’ll surely be aware that for many years now, the prices of houses and villas across Belgium has kept on rising. You’ll also have heard that this price increase has been an appealing draw factor for those thinking of becoming estate agents, particularly as part of a franchise. The franchise is usually comprised of a partnership between an independent agency, the franchised agency and, representing the well-established chain, the franchisor. But in order to profit from Belgium’s favourable housing situation, it’s well worth knowing the market trends inside-out, as well as taking some time to learn about the country’s regional variations. Here’s a brief summary of some key information:
As already mentioned above, prices for houses, villas and apartments have been on the increase since 2009. For example, according to Statbel, Belgium’s national statistics office, the price of the average dwelling in the country rose by 3.5% between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018. At the start of the year, the average price had risen to 221,061€.
As a franchise, it is important to know that this rise has not applied equally across different types of housing, so it’s important to know the differences in trends. For example, standard houses increased by 3.5% between 2017 and 2018, whilst apartments and villas increased by only 1% over the same period.
In the same way that prices vary across types of housing, this is equally the case across the country’s different regions. Further still, depending on the location of your franchise, you should expect different prices for the houses, apartments and villas which your clients are after.
To illustrate this, Wallonia is, on average, the most affordable region, followed by Flanders, whist the Brussels-Capital region is the country’s most expensive. This variation is also highlighted across the different provinces. For example, whilst the average property in Limbourg will cost you 203,739€, a property in Flemish Brabant, the most expensive part of Flanders, will set you back 273,030€ on average. That said, Brussels remains the most expensive region, regardless of the property type sought. It’s here that house prices have increased the most in relation to the rest of the country - around 12% for houses and villas. Apartments have also increased in price by 5.9%, much higher than the national average of 1.5%.
Whilst these regional trends are useful for your future franchise, they’re not sufficient to use on their own. To best adapt to your clients’ needs, it’s important to be aware of Belgium’s more general national trends to understand the situation in your area. Indeed, fluctuations in property prices are not uniform across all areas of the same region.
Concerning trends in their respective regions, Gingelom, where a house costs 135,733€ on average, is Belgium’s cheapest municipality, whereas in Wezembeek-Oppem, Flanders’ most expensive municipality, a house will set you back 414,063€ on average. As this price disparity highlights, it’s essential to know your franchise’s municipality and its wider area inside-out so that you don’t sell a property in Gingelom for the same price as one in Wezembeek-Oppem.
As we’ve seen, the Belgian property market has been performing well for several years now. It is also an industry ready to welcome more estate agencies, particularly franchisers. Above all, don’t forget the importance of getting to know the local property climate in the region and city which you hope to set up in. Depending on where you choose, you’ll face different challenges and the property market can vary from place-to-place. That said, if you’re well-informed, nothing’s stopping you from setting up a successful franchise business.