The Dutch-language press in Belgium is reporting that Belgium experienced a 3.1% decline in apartment prices nationwide, largely because of weakness in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders. This price fall is in stark contrast to 2011 when apartment prices in Belgium rose 8.4%. The data suggests that the sovereign debt crisis in Europe is taking its toll on the Belgian economy and leading to weakness in the housing market.
There are large differences between the Belgian regions, however. In Flanders, prices fell 2.5%. In Wallonia, prices rose 1.3%. In the capital Brussels, in particular, the market was still robust with prices up 4.4% in 2012.
Moreover, house prices in Belgium are still higher year-on-year, although the more volatile quarter-to-quarter numbers showed a drop. In Q4 2012,...
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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator in print and on television for the past decade. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.