As housing slump bites, big councils lose millions on land sales

In total, 33 of the Netherlands’ 40 biggest local authority areas have lost at least €1m on land sales, according to research by current affairs show Nieuwsuur.


Eleven councils booked a loss on their land dealing of more than €20m last year.
Worst affected is Apeldoorn, which bought up large pieces of agricultural land which are now unsellable. In 2011, the city council included a loss of €124m on land sales in its official accounts.
Heerenveen (a loss of €79.5m), The Hague (a loss of €64.8m) and Groningen (a loss of €63m) have also been seriously affected.
Councils have been unable to sell land bought for housing or other construction projects because of the housing market slump and large volume of surplus offices.