New statistics show that Belgians still prefer buying homes to renting. In 2015, the home ownership percentage in Belgium was 71.4%, relatively high to it’s neighbouring countries in western Europe.
The shift from property-owning to renting took hold in post-WW2 western Europe as more people moved to the cities for work. This shift has continued as countries become less agricultural and more urban, and renting offers newcomers a way to live and work in the city without a loan or large deposit.
These changed attitudes towards homeowning can be seen throughout western Europe as countries like Germany and Austria have over 40% renting population, and countries like the UK, New Zealand, and Finland having a constant and significant increase in their renter population every year from 2010 to 2015.
However, Belgium’s rent share has remained constant over the past 5 years and has only increased by just 0.7%, with the current percentage of 28.6% flatlining in 2015.
Although renting is on the rise in many western European countries, Switzerland is currently the only population with a renting majority (56.6%), but with a growing trend across the continent, many countries including Belgium, may start to follow.