Whereas the coronavirus pandemic spurred some Antwerp residents to flee to the suburbs or rural areas, “we positively didn’t see a panic, and comparatively few individuals made the Hamptons resolution,” stated Mr. de Ruiter, referring to everlasting strikes by some prosperous New Yorkers to Lengthy Island enclaves. “Belgian persons are extra laid again. The angle was, ‘Let’s sit this out and see what occurs.’” The town’s property market remained resilient because of this, he stated.
In accordance with StatBel, the pandemic “had a restricted impression on the variety of property transactions” in 2020, with the lowered gross sales quantity “offset by a robust fourth quarter.” In Antwerp, transactions fell yr over yr from 3,502 properties bought in 2019 to 2,422 in 2020. As Covid restrictions recede, 2021 has been busy for brokers. First-quarter 2021 dwelling gross sales elevated by 14.7 % in Antwerp and 11.2 % nationally, in response to notaris.be, the affiliation of Belgian notaries.
Demand for gardens and out of doors terraces has been the pandemic’s most vital impact on Antwerp’s property market, stated Mr. Vertommen, the itemizing agent. “Regardless of how a lot cash they’ve, everyone seems to be seeking to improve their main residence to incorporate some out of doors area,” he stated. “Earlier than the pandemic, it was parking areas. Now, it’s gardens or terraces.”
Who Buys in Antwerp
Antwerp’s property market is “80 % native and Belgian patrons,” Mr. de Ruiter stated. International patrons largely come from the Netherlands, drawn by the shared language and decrease housing costs. North American patrons are “incidental,” Mr. de Ruiter stated.
Frederic van Bleek, the manager director of Engel & Volkers Antwerp, stated he has seen a rise in purchases by expatriate Belgians returning dwelling after the pandemic. “They’re searching for safety, and so they need to purchase their primary home within the metropolis,” he stated.
Mr. Vertommen, the itemizing agent, stated that whereas most of his international patrons are Dutch, he has bought to Israeli, Lebanese and German shoppers, who are sometimes linked to Antwerp’s diamond trade.