Registration fees are a very important part of your budget when buying a property. These taxes depend on the Region where the property is located. During the last years, the rates have changed and certain special mechanisms have been introduced in each Region. It is therefore sometimes complicated to find your way around.
In Brussels, in principle, buyers pay a registration fee of 12.5% of the price of the property.
Under certain conditions, buyers can take advantage of a more favourable tax regime. This is known as the "abatement". This means that no registration fees are payable for the first 175,000 euros of the property. This corresponds to a saving of 21,875 euros.
There are many conditions to benefit from this allowance. For example, the property must be intended for residential use (and it can also be an "off-plan" flat). The allowance also applies only to buyers who do not own another property. The buyer must retain his principal residence in the property acquired for an uninterrupted period of 5 years. Another important condition is that the purchase price of the property must not exceed 500,000 euros.
For the purchase of a building plot, the rule is that there is no registration fee to be paid on the first 87,500 euros. Please note that the allowance for the purchase of a building plot is not valid for the purchase of a property under construction or a property on plan, which could benefit from the 175,000 euro allowance explained above. Certain conditions are necessary to benefit from this allowance for the purchase of a building plot. For example, the amount on which the registration fees are paid cannot exceed 250,000 euros.
In Wallonia, registration fees are also normally 12.5% of the purchase price of the property. Under certain conditions, buyers can benefit from a reduced rate of 6% on the first instalment of their purchase in the case of the purchase of a "modest home" (and even 5% if the purchase is financed with a social mortgage loan).
The amount of this first instalment depends on the municipality where the property is located. In an area of real estate pressure, this part amounts to 174,000.61 euros. Outside a real estate pressure zone, the part to which the reduced rate applies is 163,125.56 euros.
Buyers of a home in Wallonia also benefit, under certain conditions, from an allowance of 20,000 euros, which represents a tax saving of 2,500 euros.
In Flanders, the registration fee is usually 10% of the price of the property. Rate reductions exist in several cases. You can benefit from a reduced rate of 6% if you meet certain conditions. This must relate in particular to the purchase of a single home used as a family home.
Buyers who undertake to carry out "major energy renovations" on their property can benefit from a reduced rate of 5%. The necessary energy renovations are defined by the Flemish Region.
The old rebate no longer exists in Flanders for the calculation of registration fees. However, buyers do benefit from a flat-rate reduction of 5,600 euros on registration fees when buying a property if the sale value does not exceed 200,000 euros. In certain urban centres and in the municipalities on the outskirts of Brussels, this limit is increased to 220,000 euros.
As you can see, there are many differences between the 3 Regions... When you want to buy a property, always consult a notary in good time. The sooner you know which rate applies to your purchase, the better you will be able to estimate the costs of the purchase!