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15 May 2017 Comments (0) Real Estate

Is the area of new housing decreasing?

In metropolitan areas with exorbitant rents and where more and more inhabitants live alone, a new type of housing has been born: mini-apartments, which were prohibited for a long time. In London, these apartments are between 24 and 33 m2, with a mini-kitchen, storage, and bathroom with shower, large windows, a bay window and high ceilings (2.89 m) to give the impression of more space.

Densification obligates, there is a tendency to believe that the living area of our dwellings is also decreasing in Belgium. However, according to the latest figures published by the FPS Economy, the average area of houses and apartments has not shrunken significantly … Over the years, the apartment has gained enormously in ergonomics and available space. Its reference area is now approaching 75 m². For houses, it borders on 130 m² with a garden depending very heavily on whether you are in an urban environment, in the countryside, and in the north or south of the country.

In Brussels, the average size of houses has even increased significantly in the last three years. It is more than 450 m², while it fluctuated between 153 (2002) and 318 m² (2010) during the first decade. For the apartment, where the production is much more important, the weighted average area has been around 75 m2 for 16 years, with a maximum range over the years of 81 m² (2004) to 63 m² (2014).

In Wallonia, apartements have comparable average areas, around 70 m². As for Walloon houses, if their average area has been less than that of their Brussels neighbours since the beginning of the millennium it has tended to increase slightly, to stabilise around 130 m².

Only in Flanders, where the pressure of land is much greater than elsewhere, the area has ostensibly decreased. On the basis of the building permits granted in recent years, it appears that the average area of houses has decreased from 160 to 133 m² in fifteen years. While at the same time, apartments have seen their area shrink by 17 m², to stabilise around 66 m² in 2016.

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