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Brussels is getting more expensive.

These are the countries where it makes more sense to rent than buy

By Max Nisen

The question of whether to buy or rent can have very different answers depending on where you live. There’s been a big split between housing markets that had a brief decline during the great recession and are now beginning to overheat, and those that are still in the midst of a very slow recovery.

In Canada and Norway, the housing market seems to be on the bubbly side, making it very expensive to buy a home instead of renting. In New Zealand, the issue is constrained supply (pdf).

In Japan on the other hand, prices are still in the basement. Here’s the spread in price-to-rent ratios around the world, according to the IMF:

The overall affordability rankings are mostly similar, though Canada loses the top spot.

Belgium’s housing market didn’t really suffer much of a downturn in the first place. Now rising prices, a particular boom in Brussels, and a hands-off policy on mortgage regulation are combining to create the world’s highest price-to-income ratio. Some are moving across the border to the Netherlands (paywall) to avoid the overpriced market: