If registration duties on a large part of the purchase price of a first home are abolished, this must be linked to conditions in terms of energy performance. This is what the construction federation Embuild says in a response to Vooruit’s campaign proposals. The socialist proposals regarding the rental market threaten to shrink the supply, the organization says in a press release.
The Flemish socialists are going to the elections with a number of proposals to make housing more affordable. For example, the purchase of a first home should become cheaper by dropping registration duties on the first 250,000 euros, an operation that will be paid for by significantly increasing the tax on second and third homes.
Embuild believes that this operation should be linked to the energy performance of buildings. Otherwise, the reduction will simply be canceled out by a rising purchase price, the interest group fears. In its election memorandum, the federation advocates reducing registration duties in Flanders to 0 percent, but only if the home is energetically renovated to a level higher than the legal minimum requirement. This way, buyers cannot use the released budget to bid against each other, says director general Marc Dillen, and it goes entirely to improving the energy performance of the home. “That is good for their energy bill, their living comfort and the climate challenge.”
Embuild fears that a number of other housing proposals from Vooruit will reduce the rental supply. The Socialists want, among other things, that rents will be capped and that there will be buy-out protection in certain neighborhoods, but these measures will precisely result in a lower supply of rental properties because the rental market in Flanders is dominated by owners who invest in a second home, says the construction federation. If they are confronted with buyout protection or capped rents, they will no longer invest and the rental market will come under even more pressure, it is said.