Moving to Antwerp?
Housing in Antwerp
Compared to living in a capital city, or other major metropolis, the housing market in Antwerp is very reasonably priced. It’s possible to find a range of apartments and homes, suitable for individuals, couples, students, flat shares, or families. This InterNations guide will direct you to the best real estate agents, and give you information on the different areas of the city.
City Center: Luxury with a Price
The center of the city is, of course, the most expensive part of town. Its postal code is 2000: knowing the postal codes of your desired area is important, as the majority of real estate agents will ask you to define the location in which you would like to find property by postal code, rather than by name.
The code 2000 includes the districts within the belt known as De Leien. These run along Antwerp’s main street which changes its name at various points to honor the victors of World War I, from Italiëlei to Frankrijklei to Britselei and finally to Amerikalei. Lei is an older Flemish word for avenue, so the streets are Italy Ave., France Ave., British Ave., and America Ave., respectively. While the price of homes here might put you off, living in the center has major advantages: it has excellent public transportation links in all directions and the benefit of being within walking distance of all the major attractions of the city.
Apartments in this area tend to be quite appealing. However, they do come with a price to match. This means that you will most probably only find single, well-paid expats living in the center. There are many other options though!
You might feel more at home, for example, in one of the up-and-coming areas across Antwerp. One of these is the district known as Zuid. This is the redeveloped museum district, which has become favored among those happy to live in close proximity to pubs, clubs, and galleries: true inner city living.
St. Andries, popularly known as the fashion district, is where those inclined to an urban lifestyle can find affordable apartments; it’s located between the river and Nationalestraat. Alternatively, Berchem also has a bohemian feel and features some very attractive Art Nouveau houses.
The Family-Friendly Options
None of the aforementioned districts, however, are truly suited to families. If you are moving to Antwerp with children, try finding housing in one of the suburbs. Most families have set up house in the north of the city, where there are larger houses with yards and a more residential feel.
Finally, there are the former municipalities of Borgerhout, Deurne, Berchem, Wilrijk, and Maerksem, which surround the outskirts of the city. The best way to choose between them is to visit each one and get a feel for the area. All are well served by public transportation, so it is unnecessary to invest in a car even though you are living in the suburbs. It takes no more than a 20–30 minute bus or tram ride to reach the center from any of the suburbs.
Some expats, for example, find Deurne particularly attractive due to the Rivierenhof. This large, leafy park with a collection of creeks and lakes, and an open air theater offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities for both children and adults. Others are drawn to Hoboken, a quiet residential area situated at the end of tramlines 2, 4 and 24; it is also known for having one of the city’s bigger green areas, the Hobokense Polder.
Where to Start Your House Hunt
The most important Belgian website for finding apartments and houses, and one that is used directly by both real estate agents and landlords, is Immoweb. Registration is free and easy, though you can gain all the information you require from the site without registering.
There are a wide range of other agents, whose English sites are straightforward to navigate:
- Century 21 (all types of real estate)
- Glo-Con (all types of real estate)
- Apartments Antwerp (furnished apartments for short/long-term lease)
- Luxestate (upmarket real estate)
- Erasmusu (student rooms and apartments)
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