In the recent years, foreigners have been buying more and more properties in Belgium. In fact, non-Belgians bought 7,942 real estate properties in 2014, a number which has increased by 24% compared to 2013. But what are the most popular regions for Belgians to buy homes outside of their country? To answer this question we looked at all the transactions made in 2015 through our network of agencies all around Belgium (https://www.bluehomes.com/Immobilien-Belgien/B/de/debut.html). All information was then correlated with Google Trends analysis from January 2016. The analysis showed us that Flanders is clearly the region where interest from foreign buyers is higher with 23%, followed by Brussels (19%) and Wallonia (15%). In terms of cities, Ghent takes first place with 18% of all searches from foreigners, followed by Antwerp (14%) and Brussels (11%).
Popular regions for Belgians to buy homes outside of their country: Flanders with 23%, the region is split into four provinces: West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp and Limburg. The province of Antwerp has five districts including the city of Antwerp as its capital. Bruges is a municipality located in the province of West Flanders. It is the biggest city inside a Dutch speaking region in Belgium. In fact, it’s 800 years old! Ghent or Gand in Dutch takes first place with 18% of searches from foreigners. A port on the river Scheldt, Ghent is one of Europe’s oldest cities.
Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and home to NATO headquarters. Brussels comes second with 19%. Wallonia, sometimes called Walloon Region or French: Région wallonne, is one of three federal regions of Belgium. It completely surrounds the Brussels-Capital Region, except for a land strip on the east which borders the Flemish region of Limburg. It has 4 provinces including Luxembourg (the country!) Chimay takes third place in terms of popularity amongst Belgians to buy homes outside their country with 15% searches from foreigners. A municipality located in Hainaut province in Wallonia, it’s known for its Abbey founded by St Landelin in the 7th century.
Least popular regions for Belgians to buy homes outside of their country: With only 1% of searches from foreigners, the Namur province in Wallonia is where interest from foreign buyers is lowest. The city located here, Namur or Namen in Dutch, has a population of 96000 inhabitants making it one of the smaller provincial capitals. The Aisne department in Picardy takes second place with 2% followed by the Ardennes (3%).
The Aisne department is also located in Picardy but includes two regions inside its boundaries called Laonnois and Soissonnais. Populated by more than 20000 people it’s clearly less popular amongst Belgian buyers compared to other regions. The Ardennes are heavily wooded mountains north-eastern region of France, south Belgium and Luxembourg. They stretch from the Champagne province in the North to Alsace region in the South. La Roche-en-Ardenne takes third place with 3% searches from foreigners. A municipality located close to Givet, it’s surrounded by rocky peaks such as Rocher de Freyr and Val du Buzet which are also popular spots for hiking enthusiasts thanks to their natural beauty!
Top 10 cities where most foreign buyers come from: United States already a very popular destination for Belgians looking for property is even more so amongst foreigners who search on websites like DWELLERS mainly looking for houses abroad rather than second homes or holiday homes. With 13% of all searches made from US citizens, it’s the top country to buy property in Belgium, followed by Russia (8%) and France (6%).
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is known as one of London’s prime residential areas as well as part of the city itself. It has a population of over 163,000 people and is where most foreign buyers searching for homes in Belgium come from with 13% searches made! Manhattan, New York City’s central borough takes second place with 11%. A commercial, financial and entertainment centre for both the United States and the world!, it has an incredible skyline thanks to its high-rises such as One World Trade Center or 432 Park Avenue which are also popular amongst Belgians looking to invest their money.