What has changed in 2023?

The price ceiling for energy costs
There is a price ceiling to compensate for the increase in energy costs. Households will pay € 0.40 per kWh of electricity and € 1.45 per m3 of gas for the ‘basic consumption’ (including energy tax and VAT). For electricity this basic consumption is 2,900 kWh per year and for gas this basic consumption is 1,200 m3 per year. For use above this basic consumption, households pay the current rates. If these rates are lower than these maximum prices, this lower rate will be paid for the duration of the energy contract.

The starter exemption
The house value limit for the first-time buyer’s exemption has been increased from €400,000 to €440,000. Homebuyers between the ages of 18 and 35 do not pay transfer tax when purchasing a home with a purchase price up to this limit, subject to certain conditions.

Abolition of jubilation
The gift exemption for the owner-occupied home (also known as the jubelton) has been reduced to € 28,947 and will be completely abolished on 1 January 2024.
In 2023, the gift exemption for the owner-occupied home (jubelton) will be equated with the gift amount of 2023 that can be freely spent (€ 28,947). Parents can donate this amount for their own home or for free spending. It is therefore not possible to use both exemptions. Because these amounts are equalized in 2023, this distinction is no longer important in practice, and parents can therefore donate a total of € 28,947 to a child in 2023.

Maximum rent increase in the free sector
On Wednesday, December 20, 2022, the Senate approved the law that maximizes the rent increase in the private sector for homes. Where inflation used to determine the maximum rent increase, the average wage increase will be the determining factor for the rent increase for 2023. As a result, the permitted annual rent increase in the private sector for homes has been set at a maximum of 4.1%. For example, the cabinet wants to better protect tenants of housing in the private sector against the sky-high inflation.

General transfer tax rate to 10.4%
The general transfer tax rate has been increased from 8% to 10.4%. The reduced rate of 2% for the acquisition of homes by private individuals who meet the main residence criterion remains unchanged. This also applies to the rate of 0% for the starters’ exemption. If you acquire a home that does not serve as your main residence, this acquisition will be taxed at 10.4% as of 1 January 2023. This rate also applies to other real estate, unless the delivery is subject to VAT.