donderdag 29 april 2010

Affordability of Belgian Real-estate

What is going on here... ??? I'm trying to grasp why the Belgian real-estate market has been evolving soo differently compared to surrounding countries, but it really beats me...
I heard that Belgian prices kept rising because of a number of reasons like black money being repatriated from Luxemburg and that our housing market had to catch up, but by looking at a rather long timeperiod (nearly 20 years), I'd expect a price evolution much more in line with the trend.

  • The above graph can be accessed here.
  • The source of the Belgian data is Stadim. I asked them for a rationale, but without response till now.
  • I also wonder why Belgium is the only country without data for 2009.
  • Germany, Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland were not selected above because it would reduce the time window due to lacking data (Belgian is still on top even with those countries in).
  • The infamous US housing 'bubble' since 2004 looks soo minor from this perspective that I start to question the data this is based on.
  • Other arguments that are sometimes used to explain an exploding house price / income index for Belgium are also inadequate for me: The lower average mortgage rate applies to all the above OECD countries, just like the increase in mortgage length.