There was a lot to do in the second half of 2014 about the housing bonus that the government offers to buyers of their own home.
In short: after the formation of government it was decided in 2014 that the subject matter of the housing bonus would become Flemish competence in 2014 instead of federal. It was immediately added that Flanders would reduce the housing bonus from 1 January 2015 in the context of savings.
Many specialists were counting. The financial effects of the adjusted housing bonus are not minus. An average family, two-income households with two children, would purchase about 50,000 euros over a period of 20 years when buying a house with a mortgage loan .
More demand for mortgage loans
Question was therefore what the consequences would be for the real estate market. In the second half of 2014, we were able to identify a great deal of activity. Until December 31, the buyer could still benefit from the old system. This led to more visitors at real estate and credit brokers. Families were asked about the possibilities to purchase a house or apartment. Credit brokers got more interested people on the floor with the same question: “How much can we borrow for a house?”. Not only a new mortgage loan was in demand. There was also more demand for the possibilities to revise a loan . This each time to make maximum use of the old home bonus system.
This increased interest was also translated into more transactions. The number of realized sales and closed mortgage loans was higher than the year before. Notaries are stepping up to complete all files by the end of the year. After all, both the purchase and the mortgage loan had to be fully in order by the end of the year. And so it happened. The complete scenario ran as predicted.
Of course, we also looked forward to the reactions to the new housing bonus. In the real estate sector, sales in 2015 were expected to be considerably lower. After all, many prospects had realized their purchase more quickly in order to be able to enjoy the old home bonus in 2014. At the beginning of 2015 there would therefore be fewer interested parties and therefore less demand for housing.
Mortgages and real estate in 2015
The predictions did not come out in 2015. Strangely enough, the notaries established that the number of homes and land sold in January is at the same level as a year before. An unambiguous explanation for this was not yet immediately to be found. Bart Van Opstal of notaris.be cited the low interest rate as a possible factor. Because the savings hardly yield anything, consumers look for other possibilities. Investing in real estate can then be a valid alternative. This new group of prospects creates a new demand.