Brussels as investment location comes with some unique advantages that no other Belgian city can offer.
The presence of political institutions, international business and tens of thousands of well-paid expatriates and diplomats makes this city an attractive place to invest in.
Discover below some of the advantages of Brussels as investment location and get inspired as an investor.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Brussels is a good place to invest money
- 2 Brussels as investment location: Advantages
- 2.1 Favourable business environment
- 2.2 Ultra-strategic location
- 2.3 Multilingual international city
- 2.4 Excellent infrastructure: Brussels as investment location
- 2.5 International institutions
- 2.6 Excellent workforce
- 2.7 Decision-making centre of the EU
- 2.8 International business centre: Brussels as investment location
- 3 Buying property to let in Brussels: Why interesting?
- 4 Other facts about investment properties in Brussels
- 5 Projects for passive investment in real estate in Brussels
Why Brussels is a good place to invest money
Brussels is considered the capital of Europe and offers an excellent environment for business:
- Central location and access to the open and free market economy of the EU
- There is a large pool of talent consisting of multilingual trained professionals from almost all sectors
- Government provides various business incentives and services
- There is an excellent infrastructure in place (metro network, bus network, international airport, good road network, etc.).
Brussels is a cosmopolitan city, a melting pot of cultures, and is quite centrally located at the crossroads of various European cultures.
Brussels is home to thousands of purchasing power of diplomats, lobbyists, journalists and employees of international institutions and associations.
So it is no wonder that more and more private individuals are actively looking for a good investment property in Brussels for sale to rent to this interesting target group.
Apart from its business and cultural aspects, Belgium’s capital is also an interesting and pleasant place for families.
Certain neighbourhoods, districts and municipalities in Brussels offer a good balance for young families. In other words, it is a family-friendly environment where there is a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere.
Families from home and abroad can easily integrate there and build a pleasant home. Brussels is therefore ideal for enjoying the pleasant aspects of life.
In addition, the Belgian capital is a city teeming with business opportunities. Brussels is also the top of the top in Belgium in terms of jobs and salary packages.
Consequently, a large number of people from all over the world live in Brussels. Brussels is multicultural, with tens of thousands of expats.
It is thus a true international metropolis where local Belgian culture and internationalism enrich and strengthen each other.
Brussels as investment location: Advantages
Below you can find out why Brussels is suitable for investing, both for companies and individuals with savings to invest.
Favourable business environment
For companies from home and abroad, investments are facilitated in Brussels.
For example, the Belgian government has introduced tax incentives and initiatives to make the country and its capital more attractive to Belgian and foreign investors.
The Brussels-Capital Region provides local support and also does everything in its power to attract employers to the capital.
In other words, at government level, every effort is being made to create an attractive investment climate.
The local Brussels authorities want to attract foreign investors to the Brussels Capital Region because they are the engine of the local labour economy.
Domestic and foreign companies are also welcome there for free advice on setting up a branch in this strategically located Belgian capital.
One of Brussels’ greatest assets is undoubtedly its strategic location in Europe.
Geographically, Brussels is ideally situated in the centre of Western Europe.
Thanks to this central location, several other major European cities are only a stone’s throw away from Brussels.
Within a radius of +/- 475 kilometres around Brussels live hundreds of millions of consumers with enormous purchasing power.
In other words, it is a unique location to serve the European market, both in the B2B and B2C sectors.
In terms of accessibility, Brussels is also among the top. This capital of Belgium is easily accessible by car, train and plane.
Furthermore, Brussels itself is well equipped with an extensive underground metro network and numerous bus and tram lines.
Multilingual international city
Brussels has more than 1 million inhabitants and is very multicultural and diverse.
As a result, the Belgian capital boasts an international pool of talent. Companies can therefore find top talent in all sectors in Brussels.
Moreover, Brussels can rely on a high-quality Belgian educational network.
English is widely spoken in Brussels, as the language of business and often as a second or third language in private life (e.g. in the hospitality industry).
Fun fact: Brussels is multicultural and this is also reflected in the local population. More than 33% of the inhabitants in Brussels are of foreign origin.
This unique international mix of inhabitants is particularly attractive for international business.
Such a concentration of highly qualified polyglots is in fact attractive to companies and institutions that are constantly looking for multilingual and highly educated staff.
Excellent infrastructure: Brussels as investment location
Brussels is easily accessible via the extensive Belgian road network as well as via the railway network and numerous international air links.
The extremely central location of this metropolis in Western Europe ensures that one can easily reach Brussels from various other European cities.
One advantage of Brussels is that it is more affordable than many other European cities.
For example, rental and property prices in Brussels are much more affordable than in neighbouring international capitals such as London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, and so on.
Moreover, Brussels is the ideal place for organising conferences, congresses and trade fairs with an international target audience.
Brussels has enormous international influence and clout.
Indeed, this capital city of Belgium is home to many international institutions as well as international associations, international journalists, lobbyists and diplomats.
For large companies, Brussels as a city is particularly interesting for maintaining direct contact with various international institutions.
Some examples of international institutions based in Brussels are the following:
- European Commission
- European Parliament
- Various other European institutions
- UN bodies
- International and European trade associations
- International NGOs
- Embassies and honorary consulates
- Consultancy companies
- Industry bodies
- Think tanks
In other words, a huge number of diplomats and lobbyists are active in Brussels.
It is the big city in Europe for keeping abreast of the latest developments in European and international decision-making.
Moreover, with the right contacts and relationships, large companies can use it to steer and influence policy.
The Brussels labour force consists of a hugely diversified group of people and talents who speak different languages and have different skills.
The multicultural society in Brussels ensures that this metropolis has an enormous amount of multilingual talent.
For internationally oriented companies in particular, the Brussels melting pot is therefore an exceptionally interesting place to recruit talent.
Companies in Brussels have access to a large pool of multilingual and highly skilled labour.
Decision-making centre of the EU
Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium but also the decision-making centre of Belgium and the European Union.
In other words, Brussels is Europe’s political centre for government relations and policy-making.
It is also the place where large international companies can weigh in on EU policy.
Brussels is the perfect location to monitor and influence EU policy through the right channels.
More than 10 EU institutions are located in the centre of Brussels, the most famous of which are the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament.
In short, the capital of Belgium is an excellent and centrally located location to keep a finger on the pulse of decision making.
Moreover, it is also the ultimate hotspot for companies to promote their products or services to the various EU institutions.
International business centre: Brussels as investment location
As mentioned earlier, Brussels still offers fairly competitive rental and property prices, even in the commercial property niche (office spaces, shopping centres, etc.).
This is of course interesting for companies compared to overpriced real estate locations such as London or Paris.
Moreover, the average cost of living in Brussels is also acceptable. Drinks and dishes are relatively keenly priced thanks to the high level of competition, for example.
Interesting fact: Brussels is home to just under two thousand foreign companies that maintain European offices there.
In addition to a robust transport and real estate infrastructure, Belgium’s capital city also has an excellent framework for doing business.
Buying property to let in Brussels: Why interesting?
More than 1 million people live in Brussels itself and more than 5 million people live in a radius of 60 km around Brussels.
At the Belgian level, all these people together represent a significant share of total Belgian purchasing power.
Below you will find some interesting features and assets of the Belgian capital that make investing in Belgium really worthwhile:
High concentration of purchasing power in Belgium
The economy in and around Brussels is stable, and the purchasing power of workers in Brussels is downright high compared to other Belgian cities (given the higher wages in Brussels).
It is a well-known fact that the inhabitants of Brussels like to keep the money rolling, even during less favourable economic times.
Both the most recent financial crisis and the Corona crisis have shown that Brussels consumers continue to spend.
This is obviously positive news for the local Brussels economy as it is able to absorb economic shocks.
Tourism and event centre
Brussels is a very famous international tourist destination and is also a very popular location for organising events.
Belgium’s capital city is the location of choice for organisers of conferences, business incentives, exhibitions, small- and large-scale formal and informal meetings, and so on.
In terms of tourism, Brussels is at a high level with, under normal circumstances, a large half million overnight stays on a monthly basis.
Apart from tourists and business travellers visiting briefly, Brussels is a fast-growing European city.
From 2011 to 2020, the population of the Brussels-Capital Region increased from +/- 1 119 000 to +/- 1 218 000.
This is a population growth of +/- 8.85% during the last 10 years.
Combined with the licensing problems in Brussels, this means a stable and increasing demand for high-quality residential units.
Brussels as investment location for premium buy-to-let property is therefore interesting.
This population evolution in Brussels also explains why average property prices in Brussels are higher than in other Belgian cities and also rise faster than average compared to other cities.
Brussels is a rental market
Brussels offers an excellent quality of life and expats can still rent here at relatively affordable rates compared to other European capitals.
Given the composition of the population (tens of thousands of expats), there is a continuous high demand for well-maintained residential units for rent.
In terms of relaxation, family life, culture and leisure activities, Brussels has a lot to offer.
This city offers a high standard of living at acceptable, fair prices.
In other words, Brussels is a magnet for workers looking for a well-paid job and, at the same time, Brussels is more affordable than other European capitals such as London and Paris.
Expats can often live in Brussels at their employer’s expense (their residence is part of their salary package) and consequently, a large part of the expat population rents.
This is an interesting fact for investors considering Brussels as investment location.
Lots of green space in Brussels as investment location
As the icing on the cake, Brussels is also blessed with a green lung.
Think, for example, of the beautiful Sonian Forest and just under 9 000 hectares of green living space.
In Brussels, a park is never far away. In addition, more and more attention is being paid to vulnerable road users such as cyclists through additional bicycle lanes.
The Sonian Forest is the eye-catcher of pure nature in the Brussels-Capital Region.
It is a magnificent place to unwind in nature. Walking, jogging, cycling, horse riding, etc., it is all possible here.
Brussels as investment location is therefore more than just grey concrete!
Conclusion: Invest in properties to let in Brussels
Buying a flat to rent out in Brussels can be interesting for an individual looking for more return without much risk.
Brussels property prices are currently stable and look set to continue rising.
The rising property prices in Brussels can be attributed to several things.
In any case, real estate in Brussels offers a stable-value investment alternative with a higher return on capital than a conventional bank savings account.
Moreover, Brussels real estate is a much safer and more stable-value investment than the Brussels stock exchange.
Other facts about investment properties in Brussels
Stable-value buy-to-let properties in Brussels as investment location
Some people consider buying property in Brussels for rent to be their way out of trouble and their way to financial stability and independence.
Reasons for such thinking are as follows:
- Poor returns on conventional savings products such as savings books in relation to inflation
- Constant and steady growth of Belgian real estate prices in recent years
Some investors even consider Brussels to be an excellent location to focus purely on capital growth and less on rental yield.
Such investors are therefore prepared to invest capital in Brussels property without the property providing an attractive monthly rental yield.
Such investors mainly speculate on a surplus value in case of a later sale of the property.
The Brussels property market is a tenant market with specific wishes and requirements.
For example, the generally affluent tenants (often expats) desire a certain level of finish and comfort.
A high-quality premium finish and built-in furniture are definitely an added value to easily rent out to purchasing tenants.
New construction is scarce due to permit problems in Brussels
Buying a new flat in Brussels as an investment is attractive for investors looking for security.
Brussels as investment location and the Brussels property market specifically is stable and so is local tenant demand.
In Brussels, there is also a licensing problem that makes premium new-build real estate scarce.
Most of the project developments that finally get the green light therefore launch on the basis of off-plan purchasing opportunities.
In Brussels, it is not unusual to buy off-plan even before the real estate project is actually built.
For example, it is not at all abnormal to buy up to +/- 2 years before the residential units are completed.
It is the only way to get the best housing units and, given the scarcity, this method is well established in practice.
Landlords and letting agents on site
As a private real estate investor in Brussels, you would like to buy a high-quality income-producing property in a good, stable location.
Moreover, you want to maximise rental income and absolutely avoid vacancies or non-payment.
The most interesting option then is to buy residential units and then use a professional rental agent/landlord.
This way, you can invest passively and outsource all the work to a professional who will maximise the return on your income-producing property.
See below for some interesting options to invest passively in Brussels investment property for rent.
Projects for passive investment in real estate in Brussels
Are you interested in new real estate projects in Brussels as an investment to let?
Then take a look at the offers below, which are available with a complete care package to make it a passive investment.
Offers of new real estate: Brussels as investment location
Near European Quarter (top location)
€95,000 (min. own contribution)
Bronze rental guarantee
Buy-to-let and private use
Rue de Pascale, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Housing for expats/trainees
€90,000 (min. own contribution)
Bronze rental guarantee
Buy-to-let and private use
Avenue de Cortenbergh, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
5.5% return (with loan)
€85,000 (min. own contribution)
Bronze rental guarantee
Buy-to-let and private use