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Belgian apartment prices fell 3.1% in 2012, largely because of weakness in Flanders

The Dutch-language press in Belgium is reporting that Belgium experienced a 3.1% decline in apartment prices nationwide, largely because of weakness in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders. This price fall is in stark contrast to 2011 when apartment prices in Belgium rose 8.4%. The data suggests that the sovereign debt crisis in Europe is taking its toll on the Belgian economy and leading to weakness in the housing market.

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There are large differences between the Belgian regions, however. In Flanders, prices fell 2.5%. In Wallonia, prices rose 1.3%. In the capital Brussels, in particular, the market was still robust with prices up 4.4% in 2012.

Moreover, house prices in Belgium are still higher year-on-year, although the more volatile quarter-to-quarter numbers showed a drop. In Q4 2012, house prices averaged 229,230 euros, while they were 232,468 in Q3 2012. That’s a 1.1% decline. For the whole of 2012, house prices rose 5.8% from 214,460 to 226,814 euros. In 2011, prices also rose 10.7%.

Transaction volume is mixed. It was higher in Q4 2012 than in Q3. But comparisons to Q4 2011 showed a decline.

The overall trend seems to be weakening in both house and apartment prices.

Source: De Tijd

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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.