Buying real estate in Belgium?

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Buying a property in Brussels: a complete guide

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property investment Brussels

Yes, the analysis of Brussels' property market is included in our pack

Considering buying a nice property in Brussels? You're not alone!

Many people are drawn to Brussels' international atmosphere and fantasize about owning a chic apartment or a historic townhouse there.

Would it be a smart investment, though? Are property prices increasing in Brussels? Is it expensive? Is it wiser to buy property in the EU Quarter or Ixelles? Is there any hidden tax? Where are the best rental yields?

We have all the answers you need.

The Investropa team has thoroughly explored this market. Actually, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.

In this article, we're happy to share useful information with you.

How's the property market in Brussels?

How is the property market performing? Let's rely on data and figures to find out.

Types of properties

In Brussels, you can find various types of properties for sale.

These include apartments, houses, townhouses, and commercial spaces.

Apartments are typically found in multi-story buildings and come in different sizes, from studios to larger units. Houses offer standalone living spaces with outdoor areas, while townhouses are often connected homes in a row.

Commercial spaces include shops, offices, and warehouses, suitable for business purposes.

Each type of property offers different features and options to suit various preferences and needs.

Buying vs Renting

(If you plan to use it yourself and not as a rental)

Whether you've already made Brussels your home or are contemplating it for the future, you might be considering whether to buy or rent a property in the capital of Belgium.

Obviously, it's better to buy if you plan to stay in Brussels for a long period of time and want to build equity in a property.

Our advice? Use the property price-to-rent ratio as your decision-making compass. This metric give an indication of how many years of rental income it would take to cover the cost of buying a property at its current price.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Brussels is around 18.37, which is around the world average.

In simple terms, it would typically require 18 years of rental payments, on average, to buy a property in Brussels. If you plan to stay that much (or even less, since you can re-sell), it's better to buy.

Property prices in Brussels

On average, according to the last data from Statistical Office of Belgium, buying a property in Brussels will cost you around $4,150 per square meter.

Obviously, there are significant differences. An apartment in Brussels city center might have a different price per square meter than a townhouse in Ixelles. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Brussels and in Belgium.

To put things in perspective, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in a big city like Paris, you can afford 3 properties in Brussels.

Also, housing prices in Brussels are way cheaper (-55%) than in Amsterdam.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Brussels are probably the Sablon and Ixelles areas, while the cheapest areas are probably the outer suburbs.

Brussels Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Belgium currently stands out for its remarkable stability. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 31.9.

Don't overlook this while weighing the pros and cons of buying a property in Brussels.

Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, Belgium's economy is expected to soar by 5.3% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.1%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Brussels it's a good thing because it means people are getting richer and then housing prices are likely to increase.

Also, in Belgium, the average GDP per capita has changed by 4.0% over the last 5 years. Though not substantial, there is still a positive trend of growth.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Belgium right now.

Buying property in Brussels

Buying real estate in Brussels can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Brussels and in Belgium.

Buying process

Inside our pack, we've outlined the complete buying process, including a detailed breakdown of prices and yields per area, tips for negotiating the price, and information about mortgage options.

Here, we're presenting you with a more straightforward version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Brussels:

  1. Obtain a Belgian identity card and open a local bank account.
  2. Engage a notary to perform title searches and draft the "compromis de vente" (preliminary sales agreement).
  3. Pay a deposit, typically 5-10% of the property price, into the notary's escrow account.
  4. Obtain a "certificate of urbanism" from the municipality, verifying the property's legality and zoning regulations.
  5. Conduct property surveys and inspections, such as "controle de l'installation électrique" (electrical inspection).
  6. Sign the "compromis de vente" with the seller, agreeing on the sale terms.
  7. Within 4 months, complete the "acte authentique" (final sales deed) at the notary's office, paying the remaining balance and fees.
  8. Obtain a "passeport énergétique" (energy performance certificate) for the property.
  9. Pay the registration tax and transfer the property's ownership at the "Service des Contributions."
  10. Register the sale at the "Conservation des Hypothèques" to protect your rights as the new owner.
  11. Apply for a mortgage loan from a local bank, if required.
  12. Receive the property keys and officially become the owner of the property in Brussels.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Belgium.

Make a profitable investment in Brussels

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buying property in Brussels

Where to find a property

Explore these websites to find properties in Brussels:

  • Expatica - Offering extensive resources and valuable information for individuals planning to move to Belgium or those already living in the country.
  • Find a home - Providing personalized services to assist and advise clients on their property projects.
  • Engel&Völkers - A reputable real estate agency known for expertise in luxury properties.
  • Immoweb - Offering a free property valuation service, allowing users to get an estimate of their property's value.
  • Logic-Immo - A real estate agency for buying, selling, and renting properties in Belgium.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Belgium.

Which properties for which budget?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Brussels is $4,150. The cost of a one-bedroom property (60 sqm) is about $249,000, and a two-bedroom (85 sqm) would be around $353,000.

Of course, the price of properties can be influenced by their qualities and the area they're in.

Top neighborhoods in Brussels will come with higher price tags. For instance, a house in Ixelles might have a price tag of roughly $780,000, while a condominium in Saint-Gilles could be valued at $440,000.

Some spots will be friendlier to your wallet. You could find a property in Anderlecht for $190,000 or a property in Molenbeek that's only $160,000.

Find a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in Belgium.

Common pitfalls

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in Brussels, Belgium:

  • Communal ownership (copropriété): Co-ownership complexities in apartment buildings can lead to shared decision-making and potential disputes.
  • Notarial fees: Belgium has higher notary fees, impacting the overall property purchase costs.
  • Registration taxes: Brussels imposes regional registration taxes on property transfers, affecting your budget.
  • Urban planning rules: Strict zoning restrictions may limit property usage and renovations.
  • Heritage protection (classement): Some properties fall under heritage protection, restricting modifications and renovations.
  • Belgian Civil Code: Familiarize yourself with the country's legal system and complexities in property transactions.
  • Property certificates: Ensure you obtain necessary certificates like energy performance (PEB) and electrical compliance (COP).
  • Language challenges: Contracts and documents may be in French or Dutch, requiring translation and careful scrutiny.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Belgium

Everything you need to know is included in our Belgium Property Pack

Living in Brussels

Living in Brussels is a great experience, as it is a vibrant city with an international feel, plenty of cultural activities, and a wide range of housing options.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Brussels is relatively high compared to other cities in Europe. Prices for accommodation, food, and entertainment are all higher than the European average.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Brussels, Belgium:

  • A glass of Trappist beer (e.g., Chimay) at a local pub: $4-$6.
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the trendy Saint-Gilles neighborhood: $900-$1,500 per month.
  • Monthly STIB/MIVB public transportation pass: $60-$80.
  • A box of Belgian chocolates (e.g., Neuhaus) at a confectionery: $10-$20.
  • Utilities (electricity, heating, cooling) for an 85m² apartment in Brussels: $100-$150.
  • A cup of traditional Belgian hot chocolate at a café: $3-$5.
  • Entrance fee to the Atomium, a unique landmark in Brussels: $10-$15.
  • Health insurance coverage for a family of four: $200-$300 per month.


We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. That's why we made a summary table that lists the different areas in Brussels. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Saint-Gilles is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood known for its diverse community and lively atmosphere with numerous cafes, bars, and art galleries.

Rich cultural scene, excellent dining options, and good public transportation connections.

Parking can be challenging, and some areas may be noisy during weekends.


Ixelles is an upscale and cosmopolitan area, popular among expats and students, offering a mix of historical architecture and green spaces.

Many international restaurants, boutique shops, and proximity to universities and parks.

Higher cost of living, limited parking, and crowded streets during rush hours.

Brussels City Center

The City Center is the heart of Brussels, featuring the iconic Grand Place and a wide range of historical landmarks, museums, and shopping opportunities.

Rich cultural heritage, easy access to public transport, and bustling nightlife.

Can be crowded with tourists, higher rental prices, and limited green spaces.


Anderlecht is a diverse neighborhood with a mix of residential and industrial areas, known for its football team and the iconic Atomium nearby.

Good transport links, affordable housing options, and several parks for outdoor activities.

Some areas might lack amenities, and traffic congestion can be an issue.


Etterbeek is a calm and family-friendly neighborhood, home to various EU institutions, and characterized by its leafy streets and international population.

Close to the European Quarter, excellent schools, and plenty of green spaces.

Can be more expensive than other areas, limited nightlife, and crowded during peak hours.


Schaerbeek is a lively and multicultural neighborhood, boasting beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and a variety of shops and markets.

Well-connected by public transportation, affordable housing, and vibrant community life.

Some areas may have higher crime rates, and parking can be difficult.


Uccle is an upscale and residential area known for its spacious houses, parks, and a quieter atmosphere.

High-quality schools, peaceful surroundings, and good selection of restaurants.

Can be pricey, limited public transport options, and fewer entertainment venues.


Woluwe-Saint-Lambert is a green and family-oriented neighborhood with various parks and playgrounds, offering a mix of apartments and houses.

Great schools, quiet environment, and good access to highways.

Limited nightlife, traffic congestion during rush hours, and fewer shopping options.


Forest is a diverse and evolving neighborhood, featuring a mix of residential areas and parks, along with cultural venues like Forest National.

Affordable housing, cultural diversity, and good public transport connections.

Some areas may be less safe at night, limited shopping choices.


Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is a green and upscale neighborhood known for its spacious villas, excellent schools, and serene environment.

Highly sought-after residential area, beautiful parks, and good public services.

Can be expensive, limited nightlife, and fewer public transport options.

Life in Brussels

The economic landscape in Brussels is largely based on the service industry, with many international organisations and businesses based in the city. Additionally, Brussels is home to a large number of small businesses, particularly in the creative industries, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs.

What expats usually like the most in Brussels is the vibrant cultural scene, with its many festivals, events, and museums, as well as the city's excellent public transportation network.

You have to know that Brussels is not the safest city in the world. Currently, the crime rate index is at 55, which is not low. The most common crimes in Brussels are theft, burglary, assault, and drug-related offenses.

A good point for a property investor - Brussels has an extensive mass rapid transit system consisting of metro, tram, and bus lines.

Access to healthcare in Brussels is excellent, with a Healthcare Index of 74. A strong healthcare infrastructure always improves the desirability of a location, which is a good thing for real estate.

Finally, it is worth noting that Brussels has two universities in the top 250 worldwide: Université Libre de Bruxelles and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

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Renting out in Brussels

This part is for you if you want to buy a property with the goal of renting it out and making money from it, rather than living there.


Tenant Profiles in Brussels

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Belgium is 73%, which is average.

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Brussels, there will be a good number of people who can become your potential tenants.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, students, and families who are looking to settle in the city. Additionally, there are a lot of expats and international students who come to Brussels for work and study opportunities.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Brussels City Center

Professionals, expats

Central location, convenience

$1,500 - $3,500

Studio in Ixelles

Students, young professionals

Trendy area, cafes

$1,000 - $2,000

House in Uccle

Families, expats

Suburban living, green spaces

$2,500 - $5,000

Apartment in Schaerbeek

Young professionals, families

Accessible location, diversity

$1,200 - $2,500

Studio in Saint-Gilles

Artists, creatives

Cultural area, artsy vibe

$800 - $1,800

Apartment in Etterbeek

Academics, professionals

Near universities, amenities

$1,200 - $2,500

House in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre

Families, expats

Quiet, residential area

$2,000 - $4,500

Rental yields

Nowadays, the rental yields you get in Brussels are between 5% and 7%. There are some opportunities. So you know, a "good" rental yield is above 7%.

The best rental yields in Brussels are typically found in multi-family dwellings located in the city's more affordable neighborhoods, as these offer tenants more affordable rent prices and higher occupancy rates. Additionally, properties located in neighborhoods that are close to public transportation and amenities tend to have higher rental yields due to increased demand.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Brussels are taxed at 8%, which is very advantageous.


You could also decide to rent short-term to business travelers, tourists, or students attending University of Brussels. International students or professionals who are in the city for a short period of time are also potential tenants.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the city centre, particularly around the Grand Place, Sablon, and the European Quarter. Additionally, the Ixelles and Etterbeek neighborhoods are popular for their proximity to the city centre and abundance of amenities.

Currently, there are approximately 5,000 active Airbnb listings in Brussels, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $104.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Brussels can make around $1900 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 84%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Brussels then?

When it comes to buying a property in Brussels, it's essential to cut through the details and get straight to the point. Brussels can be a fantastic place to invest if you're looking for long-term stability, affordability, and the potential for rental income.

The property market in Brussels is relatively stable, and the city's economic outlook is positive, which suggests that property values are likely to appreciate over time. Plus, compared to other European cities like Paris or Amsterdam, Brussels offers more bang for your buck in terms of property prices, making it an attractive option for those seeking to invest without breaking the bank.

However, it's not all sunshine and roses. If you're planning a short-term stay or have a limited budget, buying property in Brussels might not be the best fit. The high notary fees in Belgium can significantly impact your upfront costs, and strict zoning regulations might hinder your renovation plans.

Additionally, language barriers and the responsibility of property management can add complexity and stress to your investment. So, while Brussels has its merits as a property investment destination, it's crucial to align your goals and circumstances with the city's nuances before making the leap.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Brussels

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Belgium. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Brussels

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.