Buying a house becomes cheaper...if you stick to the conditions.

The Flemish government does not only collect taxes and fines. From time to time they make some concessions. In the September declaration, Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon announced some important changes to the sales law.

The increase in house prices in Flanders is making the purchase of a first property difficult for many people. The Flemish government now wants to do something about this by implementing some changes to the sales law. This revision is based on 2 fundamental principles.

Changes to the sales tax

From January the first 2022 onwards, 3% registration tax will be due on the purchase of the only owner-occupied home, instead of the previous 6%. In addition, you can even benefit from a tax of 1% (previously 5%) when demolishing and rebuilding this property or in case of a Major Energy Renovation (IER in Dutch).
You can also count on a fee reduction (a kind of discount on the registration tax). The current discount of 5,600 euros for a sales value under 200,000 euros of the property (or 220,000 euros in core cities and municipalities of the Flemish periphery around Brussels) would be halved to 2,800 euros for those who benefit from the 3% rate. Those who can benefit from the 1% rate will receive a reduction of 933 euros.
At the same time, there will be an increase in the sales tax for the purchase of a second property. When purchasing a property other than one's own, such as a building plot, second home or investment property, the general rate will increase from 10% to 12%. Purchasers of agricultural land slip through the net, thanks to an exception. For them the 10% rate remains unchanged.

As of 1 January 2022, these new rates will apply to all purchases. The date of the authentic deed will be decisive.

Abolition of transferability

Transferability is the set-up where buyers, under certain conditions, can recover part of the previously paid registration rights (up to a maximum of 13,000 euros) on a subsequent property. This is possible through a set-off or refund. The disappearance of this advantage was also announced by the Prime Minister.

However, a transitional measure would apply whereby, for an only owner-occupied home, until the 31st of December 2023, you would still have the choice between either:

  • the new rates of 3% and 1%, without transferability
  • the old rates of 6% and 5%, with transferability

You can also combine the new general rate of 12% with the transferability during 2 years. 

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