The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This Selected Issues paper illustrates the recent evolution in Belgian housing prices. Belgian housing prices peaked at the end of 2013 after a persistent increase that was almost continuous for 30 years. The stabilization of prices, combined with policy changes on the fiscal and macro-prudential fronts, raises the question how housing prices are likely to evolve and how a price decline would affect the Belgian economy. The paper assesses the risk of a rapid price correction and the potential repercussions for the real economy. It also argues that an orderly and limited decline in housing prices-coupled with a marginal negative effect on the real economy-is the most plausible scenario.