Delta Lloyd gets cautious in 'dangerous' Dutch housing market
Friday 11 May 2012
The Dutch housing market is so 'dangerous' that Delta Lloyd has changed its mortgage policy to focus on homes with a government guarantee, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.
The national mortgage guarantee was introduced in 1995 as a way to encourage home ownership and currently covers homes costing up to €350,000. The guarantee means that if people default on their mortgage, a special home-ownership fund (known as the WEW) will pay off the debt.
'It is our choice. Prices and production levels in the housing market are under pressure and this policy shows our cautious approach,' chief executive Niek Hoek said at the insurance group's Q1 earnings presentation.
The paper says this is the first time Delta Lloyd has publicly admitted the Dutch housing market is in a dangerous condition.
The number of homes changing hands fell by 14% in the first three months of this year while prices were down 6%.
Rabobank and ING told the paper they had no plans to follow Delta Lloyd's example.