Home Costs when buying a property in Brussels?

Costs when buying a property in Brussels?

Why make it simple when it can be complicated? In our country, you not only pay different costs for a house in Wallonia or Flanders, but the Brussels-Capital Region also has its own system. We’ll outline the most important rules below.

First things first: Brussels is the most expensive region in our country when you look solely at the purchase price. You pay over 3,300 euros per square meter for an apartment (compared to 2,800 in Flanders) and 3,000 euros per square meter for a house (compared to 2,100 in Flanders).

However, please note that this is an average for the 19 municipalities combined. For example, Anderlecht and Molenbeek are among the cheapest municipalities in the country. It’s mainly the penthouses in Ixelles and the villas in Woluwe or Uccle that drive the prices up.

But what about the additional costs? Generally, you’ll end up worse off than in Flanders, but it depends on how expensive your purchase is.

What is an “abattement”?

The major difference lies in the registration fees. In Brussels, you still pay 12.5% of the purchase price. In Flanders, they have lowered that tax a few times, most recently at the beginning of 2022. There, you only pay 3% for a first primary residence. The registration fees in Brussels are significantly higher, and there are no exceptions like in Flanders (where, for example, you only pay 1% if you promise to renovate energy-efficiently).

However, there’s an important exception: the first tranche of 200,000 euros is exempt from registration fees. This is called the “abattement.” There are some rules to follow, but in summary, you must purchase as an individual (not with a company), it must be your first house, you must live in it yourself, and the property must not cost more than 600,000 euros.

A comparison with Flanders

To put it concretely: if you buy a property for 300,000 euros, you still have to pay that hefty 12.5% on 100,000 euros after the abattement (300,000 – 200,000). That amounts to 12,500 euros in registration fees, compared to 9,000 euros in Flanders at the current 3% rate (or 3,000 euros at 1% if you renovate energy-efficiently). You can summarize that difference in two letters: “ouch.” Especially when you realize that these are additional costs for which you cannot borrow from the bank.

On the other hand, if you find a workers’ house in Molenbeek or Anderlecht for 225,000 euros (which might still be possible), you would only pay the 12.5% on 25,000 euros after the abattement. That would amount to 3,125 euros. In this case, Flanders would turn out to be more expensive (6,750 euros). But well, we’re talking about an exceptionally low purchase price here.

And what about the Walloon Region? You can read about that here.

Our advice is always nearby

We have only discussed taxes so far. For the notary fees and other administrative costs, you will notice little difference compared to Flanders. If you want to see the complete picture, let us know. We also have offices in and around Brussels.

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