Press release: the new construction market returns to trend of long-term growth in 2024

Waregem/Ghent, April 10, 2024 – The prices of new houses and apartments rose in the first quarter of 2024. House prices thus continue their long-term growth after a brief period of relative stabilization in 2023. The increase is mainly driven by Flanders, while prices in Brussels and Wallonia rose less sharply. This is according to the New Construction Barometer, an initiative by the neighborhood developer Matexi and the real estate data platform Realo, which tracks the price evolution of new housing in Belgium.

The results from the first quarter of 2024 indicate that the Belgian new construction market still shows an upward trend. The average prices of a new house and apartment increased by 0.83% and 1.05% respectively, compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the first quarter of last year, prices rose by 2.81% (houses) and 5.40% (apartments). Thus, the upward curve that has been forming for some time continues, especially in terms of apartments.

The national quarterly figures are primarily driven by developments in Flanders, where houses and apartments have respectively become more expensive by 0.91% and 1.27%. In Brussels and Wallonia, the price increases remained quite modest, but the annual price increases there were stronger.

Kristoff De Winne, Acquisition & Development Director at Matexi: "The price increase confirms the structural imbalance between supply and demand in the new construction market. Due to increasingly lengthy permit procedures, with a current average delay of more than 4 years, supply cannot keep up with the growing demand for high energy performance housing. The number of permits granted in Belgium last year was thus 15.6% lower than the average of the previous five years. The rise in construction costs and changes in taxation also play a role. Consequently, financial accessibility to housing is compromised."

Fabrice Luyckx, data analyst at Realo: "At the end of 2023, interest rates stabilized after a slight decrease. As a result, it has become interesting to borrow again. This effect had already been felt earlier in the secondary market, where price increases are observed again for the first time in two years. This likely also explains why prices for new homes are starting to increase again after a period of stagnation."

About the New Build Barometer

The New Build Barometer objectively collects data from online real estate listings, open data from the government, and other online sources. This results in a substantial and representative sample of the entire Belgian new construction market. The academic and independently validated analysis method allows for more accurate tracking of the actual price evolutions for new houses and apartments, taking into account changes in the characteristics of properties over time.

The New Build Barometer follows the current price evolutions (excl. VAT) for a typical Belgian house, being a semi-detached construction of 160 m2 with three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a garden. In the apartment segment, this refers to an apartment of 95 m2 with two bedrooms and a bathroom.