Living area of residential buildings

This indicator shows the total living area of residential buildings. It paints a better picture of the materials needed for housing in Flanders.

1.2 billion m²

  • In 2023 the total living area of residential buildings totalled 1,235,128,164 m2.
  • Apartment buildings represent two thirds of this area.

What do we see?

In 2023 the total living area of residential buildings totalled 1.2 billion m2, an increase of 87 million m² (7.6%) compared to 2016. Although the number of single-family homes in Flanders, at 2,156,386 units, is much larger than the number of apartment buildings (123,111 units), the latter provide two-thirds of the total housing area. Indeed, quite a few apartment buildings consist of many more floors than houses.

What’s the aim?

To better identify the housing needs of the population, it is important to understand both the total living area and its distribution among different housing types. From a circular perspective, multifamily houses show themselves to be more efficient than single-family houses because they offer a larger living area relative to the land area occupied due to more floors. This emphasizes the importance of optimizing available space within the housing market.

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator is calculated from data on the number of residential buildings in Flanders, broken down by year of construction and building type as provided by Statbel. These data are then multiplied by the reference values of floor areas for residential buildings, broken down by year of construction and building type, in Belgium. This information comes from the Institut Wohnen und Umwelt GmbH. The residential area or floor space obtained is therefore an approximation; the government does not collect direct data on this.

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