Wednesday 26 July 2017

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Amsterdam to boost social housing sector, 40% of new homes rent controlled


Amsterdam city council has decided that 40% of new homes built within the city's boundaries must fall under social housing rules, meaning the rent can be no more than €710 a month. A further 40% must target middle income households with rents of around €850 per month or be affordable to middle income home buyers, councillors decided on Wednesday evening. The remaining properties will target high earners. Currently just 30% of new homes must be social housing and there are no restrictions on the rest. 'If we leave it to the market, people with a low or moderate income will no longer be able to live in Amsterdam,' Laurens Ivens, the city's housing alderman and a member of the Socialist party, said earlier. The city council hopes the plan will make it possible for more teachers, police officers and other people in professions with moderate pay to make the capital their home. Research shows that some 80% of new owner-occupier properties within the A10 ring road cost more than €400,000, while rents of €1,500 for a one-bedroom flat have become the norm. House prices in the capital have soared by 20% in the past year. However, the plan, which was not supported by city coalition partner D66, has been criticised by building companies. 'Over the past few years, Amsterdam has tried to boost the number of owner-occupied properties,' Taco van Hoek, of the building sector economic institute EIB told the Parool. 'To some extent this has helped, but nevertheless, just 30% of the city's homes are owner occupied, compared with 60% in the country at large.'  More >

House sales fall as shortage hits buyers

Housing House sales fell in the second quarter of 2017 as steep price rises combined with a shortage of homes for sale left potential buyers facing slim pickings. Figures produced by estate agents' organisation NVM showed 97,000 homes were put up for sale between April and June, excluding newbuilds, the lowest number since 2004. The number of sales completed fell by 0.8% against the same period last year to 56,000. The downward trend was sharpest in Amsterdam, where 22% fewer homes were sold, followed by Delft on 18% and Leiden on 17%. The NVM said there was an urgent need to build new homes to relieve the pressure on the market. 'Municipalities, developers and agents need to put their best foot forward to prevent the housing market grinding to a halt and prices exploding,' chairman Ger Jaarsma told NOS. The organisation also voiced concern about the rate of price rises in places such as Amsterdam, where houses have gained 21.6% in value in the past year, as well as southwest Friesland (19%) and Almere (16.4%). Outside the coastal cities there were strong rises in the volume of house sales in some places. Lelystad recorded a 48% increase, while Waalwijk and Drunen both saw rises of 42%. The average house price has climbed to €258,000, 2% higher than the previous peak in August 2008. In the following five years prices tumbled by more than 20% as the bubble burst and banking collapses triggered a recession in western economies.    More >

House prices were up 8% in May

Housing House prices in the Netherlands were almost 8% higher in May than they were a year ago, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. House prices have been rising steadily for over three years now and are nearly 18% higher than in June 2013, when the housing market was at its lowest level. The price of an average home is now on a par with prices in summer 2006, still some 8% below August 2008 when they hit a record. Sales were also up last month. Figures from the land registry office show nearly 20,000 transactions were recorded in May, a rise of 25% of May 2016 and 20% up on April this year. House prices in some parts of the country - Amsterdam and Utrecht in particular - have already outstripped the August 2008 record.   More >