Belgian Income Index
As a general rule, people are recommended to try to keep rental or mortgage costs below 30% of their overall income. However, in cities across Belgium and the Benelux region, house prices and bills make this increasingly difficult. We have analysed 31 cities across the region, looking at how factors such as income, housing and living costs affect people differently in 2020.
Income v.s. Housing Costs
An estimated 73% of Belgians own rather than rent their home, with homeownership being the most popular option for many years. However, figures from our study suggest that this is becoming increasingly less viable for single households looking to buy. Our research found that renters across Belgian cities see 32% of their earnings go directly towards rent.
We’ve analysed each city's average mortgage repayments and rental cost and compared it against typical monthly earnings to determine the most and least accessible areas for Belgians. The mortgage repayments are based on the average home value in each city. We’ve also included figures from Benelux cities to see how Belgium compares against neighbouring countries.
Below you can see a breakdown of each of the cities analysed and the proportion of earnings that go towards either rent or mortgage payments:
Earnings across Benelux
Rather than selecting where one should live based on the proportion of income spent on rent, an individual may opt for areas solely based on the earnings they would expect to receive. A notable finding from the research was that in terms of average take home salary, no Belgian cities break into the top 10 across Benelux. Both Luxembourg city and Esch-sur-Alzette top the overall rankings, with Brussels coming out as top for Belgium.
Here is an overview of how salaries compare across the cities in each Benelux nation:
You and your bills
Several factors will contribute to monthly utility bills being cheaper in some regions than others. In Belgium, average monthly utility costs are higher in cities than in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, with the likes of Namur and Charleroi exceeding €200 a month. Below is a breakdown of who is getting the best deals across Belgium and the surrounding region.
You can find out more information about cutting down your monthly bills here.