From 6% to 3%, and from 5% to 1%
In the course of 2018 and 2019, the Flemish government already introduced certain rate reductions. For the purchase of an owned and only residence, the standard rate of 10% was lowered to 7% and then to 6%. In 2019, a reduced rate was also introduced (first 6%, later 5%) for those who purchased their only and occupied residence and undertake (and comply with) the commitment to carry out major energy renovations on the building. In 2020, the latter rate was extended to the purchase of an only self-occupied residence that is to be completely or partially demolished and rebuilt.
On 1 January 2022, the rates are further reduced: on the purchase of an owned and only residence, the rate drops to 3% (instead of 6%). In the case of a major energy renovation or demolition and rebuilding of the house, the rate will be 1% (previously 5%).
For so-called modest houses (houses below a certain purchase price), an additional reduction currently applies. This will continue to apply but will be adjusted on two points.
The maximum purchase price for a modest house increases from EUR 200,000 to EUR 220,000. In some cities, the limit rises from EUR 220,000 to EUR 240,000. The reduction itself will amount to EUR 2,800 (EUR 960 for houses subject to the rate for the only owner-occupied house with major energy renovation), in proportion to the reduction in the rate.
Entry into force
The entry into force of the new rates depends on the date of the notarial deed.
General rate from 10% to 12%
On the other hand, the general rate for the purchase of other real estate goes from 10% to 12%. This applies to immovable goods such as land (with the exception of agricultural land and natural areas), a second property, commercial buildings, warehouse etc.
The rate increase also applies as of 1 January 2022 but is not dependent on the authentic deed. In contrast to the rate reduction, the date of the purchase agreement (compromise) is decisive.
Finally, note that the so-called transferability will be phased out by the end of 2023. Transferability applies to individuals who purchase a residence and then sell it again within a certain period of time.
A combination between the 3% rate or the 1% rate and transferability is not possible. The buyer must choose between the new rates (without transferability) or the old rates (6 and 5%), with transferability.
The new general rate of 12% can also still be combined with the transferability option for two years.
The rate changes only apply if the immovable good is located in the Flemish Region. Because of the rate reduction for private individuals buying a residence, the difference between the regions becomes more important. However, the general rate in the Flemish Region (12% from 1 January 2022) is closer to the general rate in the other two regions (12.5%).