Limburg the cheapest, but for how long?

The latest price index from Realo shows that Limburg is the cheapest province in Flanders. Both for houses and flats, the province has been the cheapest for years, but according to the latest figures, house prices in Limburg are gradually catching up with the other provinces.

If you want to buy a house in Flanders, you will still get the most value for your money in Limburg. The average price per square metre there was € 1637 for houses and € 2371 for flats. By comparison, in Antwerp you paid € 2065 and € 2847 respectively for the same period. West Flanders offers cheaper houses (average € 297 609 compared to € 310 024 in Limburg), but Limburg has for many years stood head and shoulders above the rest of Flanders when it comes to living space, which means that the price per square metre is a lot lower there. On average, a house in Limburg had almost 15 m2 more living space (188 m2) than a house in West Flanders (174 m2). So, for the time being, you can still live more spaciously and more cheaply in Limburg.

The only way is up (?)

However, these cheaper prices seem to have come to an end in recent years. Since 2019, house prices in Limburg have started to climb more steeply. At this rate, Limburg will soon almost completely close the gap with West Flanders. In the last quarter, house prices rose twice as much as the national average: 3.1% in Limburg compared to 1.67% across the whole of Belgium. Only East Flanders rose even faster in the last quarter (+3.94%).

According to estate agent Bernard Frère of Steegmans Vastgoed, this trend is no surprise: "In recent years, more and more importance is attached to space and Limburg generally has more spacious houses than the rest of Flanders. You get more value for your money here. Moreover, Limburg is well located, also towards the Netherlands and Germany. Nowadays, individuals are willing to pay more for a good location.”

On the other hand, there is another striking development: since the middle of 2021, prices for flats in Limburg have remained virtually unchanged. In the last quarter, prices rose by only 0.31%. This slowdown in flat prices is also evident on a national and regional level, but much less pronounced than in Limburg.

The stagnation is only noticeable in existing flats. "With the rising cost of construction, the cost of renovation also goes up. Newly built flats will be more expensive, but then everything is finished and according to the buyer's choice." According to Frère, the rising construction costs have another consequence. "Some people reason that it is sometimes more interesting to invest immediately in renovating a house or to build smaller ones themselves.”

Hasselt against the current

On a municipal level, Hasselt stands out as an oddity: while most cities in Limburg recorded at least stable house prices, the prices for both houses (-1.76%) and flats (-6.17%) fell there. Despite this slight decrease, Hasselt remains by far the most expensive municipality in Limburg. On average, houses there are no larger or smaller than in other cities in the province, so the additional price seems to be mainly determined by the location. The cheapest houses in Limburg are to be found in municipalities near the language border, such as Tongeren or Gingelom.

Fabrice Luyckx

Data Storyteller & Lead Data Engineer