Brussels real estate in 2024

Prices, buying, financing and subsidies

Brussels real estate in 2024

Prices, buying, financing and subsidies

Believe a notary: 2023 was no ordinary year in the property market! The evidence can be found in the latest Notary Barometer from mid-January 2024. After a slight decline in transactions and steady prices in 2022, property sales fell by 38,000 in 2023, plunging by a record 15% nationwide. However, prices held up, with Brussels remaining the most expensive region despite a slight drop. The blame fails mainly on rising interest rates and the economic situation as well as, to a lesser extent, on the obligation in Flanders to renovate properties with the lowest energy performance ratings. Below is the latest on the situation.

Market prices in Brussels

Real estate sales dropped by 15% nationwide (12.4% in Brussels), from 248,000 in 2022 to 210,000 in 2023. While rising mortgage rates certainly had something to do with that, the wider economic situation also needs to be taken into account, as well as the obligation in Flanders to renovate purchased properties with an energy performance rating below D. With the cost of renovation materials remaining high, that measure dampened the spirits of quite a few buyers. Although most transactions in Belgium as a whole involve houses (72.5% of sales), the reverse is true in Brussels where 65% of transactions are for apartments.

Despite the clear slowdown, prices held up relatively well. House prices were stable at national level, but down by 2.4% in Brussels. However, prices in the capital are by far the highest in the country. Whereas the average price of a house in Belgium was 322,780 euros in 2023 (+1.1%), the price in Brussels remains much higher at 562,489 euros (as against 576,576 euros in 2022).

The average price of an apartment in Belgium was meanwhile 264,792 euros (+1.6%), whereas the average price in Brussels was 280,520 euros, a slight fall of 0.3%. Note that average apartment prices tend to level out: the differences between regions are less marked. By contrast, three-bedroom apartments continue to command prices well above the average, especially in Brussels where a three-bedroom flat sells for an average of 431,636 euros (+7.3%).

At municipality level, Ixelles unseated Woluwe-Saint-Pierre as the capital’s (and the nation’s) most expensive district in house price terms, with an average price of 772,089 euros, with Molenbeek-Saint-Jean bringing up the rear with an average of 356,897 euros.

For more detailed information on real estate prices in Belgium, consult the notary barometer (only available in Dutch and French).

What about rents?

According to the estate agents’ federation Federia, rental prices continued to creep up in 2023, with the average rent in Brussels reaching 1,188 euros in the first half of the year (+3.3%). Given the effects of inflation, rents are likely to keep on rising, and at an increasing pace.

More than 90% of rentals in Brussels are flats, with an ongoing marked difference in prices between the north and the south of the Capital Region. There is a difference of up to 500 euros between municipalities, with Woluwe-Saint-Pierre remaining the priciest at 1,371 euros per month for an apartment and Jette the cheapest at 879 euros.

One interesting item of news is that starting from 6 January 2024, Brussels renters now have a pre-emption right when their home is sold. That means that the owner is now obliged to offer the property to the tenant, who can choose to buy the property before it is offered to anyone else.

How to buy?

Would-be buyers have several options: private sale, public sale or online sale.
In the case of a private sale, the vendor and buyer agree the price of the property, at which point the sale is fixed. They sign a preliminary purchase agreement which, following the necessary checks, is then finalized in a notarial deed. On top of the agreed purchase price, the buyer has to pay registration duties (12.5% in Brussels), as well as notary’s fees and administrative costs, making a total of 14–15%.

Public and online sales ( are auctions overseen by a notary. If accepted by the seller, the highest bid seals the purchase. Once again, you have to add a flat fee of about 14–15% to the purchase price. Not only are sales like this safe and free of surprises, they also have the advantage of being simpler and faster (in the case of an online sale, it only takes a few weeks to become the new owner).

One thing you always have to keep in mind is that, regardless of your chosen formula, as soon as you sign a preliminary agreement or submit an offer, you are making a binding commitment to the vendor. So before you embark on this adventure, you really need to know how much you can afford.

If you use the online simulation tool offered by KBC Brussels, you’ll know in just 15 minutes whether or not your project is affordable:

How to finance your purchase?

Even if you have your own funds, it is always advisable to finance at least part of your purchase through a loan (in the shape of a mortgage). This has several advantages:

  • You retain a financial buffer to deal with unexpected events or investment opportunities.
  • The interest payments on your mortgage loan are tax-deductible.
  • Interest rates are still affordable

As the Brussels experts, we can offer you personalized advice on the best KBC Brussels mortgage to finance your purchase of a property in the capital.

Grants and subsidies in Brussels

Various subsidies to help you achieve your real-estate plans are available in the Belgian capital. Each depends on your specific situation and the nature of your project. Here are the main ones:

Tax allowance: from EUR 175,000 to EUR 200,000!

In Brussels, under certain conditions, you are entitled to a tax allowance on the first price bracket of your property. The good news is that from 1 April 2023, this price bracket has been increased from EUR 175,000 to EUR 200,000. This means that you do not have to pay registration duty of 12.5% on this bracket, a saving of EUR 25,000. To qualify, the property must be located in Brussels, you must occupy it as your principal residence as a private individual for 5 years, you must not own any other property and its price must not exceed EUR 600,000 (compared with EUR 500,000 previously).

More info: Tax relief – Bruxelles Fiscalité ( (French)

Renovation subsidy

Depending on your income and the condition of the property, these can range from 30 to 70% of the cost of renovation. The application must be submitted before the work begins.

Energy subsidy

If your renovation improves the property’s energy-efficiency (insulation, replacement boiler, etc.), you can request a subsidy covering up to 70% of your costs. Unlike the renovation subsidy, this grant can be applied for up to 12 months after the work is carried out.

Exterior renovation grant

A special renovation subsidy for the exterior of your property covers 30–80% of your costs, depending on your income and the building’s location.

Renolution: the new Brussels grant scheme

Since March 2022, various changes have been made to the energy, renovation and exterior improvement grants, which have now merged into a single system called “Primes Renolution”, which can be accessed via IRISbox, the online platform of the Brussels-Capital Region.

One major innovation of the 2022 scheme is that all grant applications now have to be made after the work has been completed, i.e. after you have received and paid the final bill (the last eligible invoice). The Primes Renolution thus operate in accordance with a single system where you apply after the work is done.

More information on Renolution website (French/Dutch)

Reduced VAT for demolition/rebuilding

On 1 January 2024, definitive new VAT rules entered into force throughout Belgium.

The reduced 6% VAT rate now applies only to property work in relation to the demolition of a building and the rebuilding (or first-time building) of a residential building on the same plot, for use as the project owner’s own home or for social housing. The “social conditions” that must be met, for either five or fifteen years, under the temporary rules to qualify for the reduced VAT rate (building must be the sole dwelling owned by the project owner, have a habitable area not exceeding 200 m2, and be your home, or a residential building for social housing rental) remain in force under the definitive rules.

More info: new measure for demolition-rebuilding (French)