Saturday 24 September 2016

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Four grenades found in Groningen flat

Four grenades found in Groningen flat

Explosives experts have defused four grenades discovered in a house in Groningen during renovation work, reports the Telegraaf. More than 30 homes were evacuated on Tuesday after workmen discovered the grenades in a plastic bag hidden above the ceiling in an apartment in Adriaan Pauwstraat. ‘When they were removing a ceiling tile, a plastic bag fell down and this seems to have been where the grenades were,’ a police spokesperson told the Telegraaf. They put them out with other rubble in a wheelbarrow but on discovering that they were explosives, alerted the authorities, who cleared the area. Police have not spoken to the apartment owner but said he had lived there for many years and possibly did not know of the grenades. They are not – as first reported – thought to date from the Second World War.   More >


Mortgage market hits eight year high

Housing The Dutch mortgage market has reached its highest level since the start of the financial crisis eight years ago, consultancy IG&H said on Monday. In the second quarter of this year, the average mortgage reached €258,000, a figure which has not been topped since 2008, the consultancy said. The total market reached €18.7bn, a rise of 29% on a year ago. The market is being driven by both home owners moving up the property ladder and people switching mortgages to take advantage of record low interest rates. Rabobank and ABN Amro both managed to increase their market share in the second quarter but ING lost 1.7%. Nevertheless, the three big Dutch banks control 51.5% of the market, IG&H said. Pension funds and insurance companies have seen their share of the total market shrink from 36% at the start of the year to 30% by end June.  More >


Amsteleiland to be auctioned for €2.3m

Millionaire island for auction, with a €4.5m clean up and squatters Amsteleiland, a potential nestling spot for 30 luxury houses, is up for sale for around €2.3m – with the ‘free’ extras of costly land remediation and nature-loving squatters, reports the Telegraaf. The paper, which claims it has seen documents prepared for the auction of so-called ‘rich man’s island’ on October 20, says Amstelveen municipality has confirmed it is up for sale, after a troubled history. For years, it has passed from one owner to another, with the hope of building millionaires’ deluxe houses receding ever further. The land, which had been used for shipbuilding, was heavily contaminated and remediation of the soil – auction documents apparently admit – will cost some €4.5million. There are also some residents already, in the form of squatters in some old houses still standing. Herbert Raat, head of housing at Amstelveen city council, told the Telegraaf: ‘There is room for 30 homes in the high part, in a beautiful location. There’s great demand for this sort of housing and we don’t want people spending their money abroad. Of course, there is a cost for cleaning the land. But this really is one of the best locations currently available in the whole region.’ Propertize, mortgage lender and currently owner of Amsteleiland, did not comment to the paper and nor did Mark Krol, the entrepreneur who has previously tried to develop the island. The Parool added that the sale – ‘due to mortgage debt arising’ – is expected for around half of the 23,500 square metre island’s former value. Meanwhile, the island’s current squatters are campaigning to stop any clean-up wiping out protected wildlife species they say live there. By contrast, the Parool reports on Friday that nine square metre rooms are on sale in the Oranjehof in Amsterdam West for a bargain €62,000.  More >