Language(s): Dutch, French
Total Area: 32,545 km²
GDP (in billion USD): 513
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters as well as those of several other major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium's housing market is now weakening, mainly due to stricter banking criteria and worsening economy.
Prices of "regular" houses in Belgium rose by 2.6% in 2012, to €194,394 (0.17% inflation-adjusted), according to Statistics Belgium (StatBel). Quarter-on-quarter, house prices actually dropped 0.87% (-1.23% inflation-adjusted) in Q4 2012.
Eurostat figures also showed that the Belgian housing market is slowing. House prices in the country rose by just 1.19% in 2012 from the previous year, after rising by 3.45% y-o-y in 2011. When adjusted for inflation, house prices actually dropped by 1.21% over the same period. On a quarterly basis, nationwide house prices fell by 0.74% (-1.1%) in Q4 2012.
Residential construction is also down. The number of dwelling permits fell by 15.1% to 3,545 units in January 2013 from a year earlier. Over the same period, the Flemish region (-15.6%) saw the biggest drop in dwelling permits, followed by the Walloon region (-14.5%) and Brussels (-6.6%). In 2012, there were about 46,894 dwelling permits issued in the country.