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One in seven real estate agents expects to go bankrupt

Tuesday 18 December 2012


One in seven of the Netherlands' real estate agents expects to go bankrupt over the next two years, according to research by the NRC.

Most are selling just one or two houses a month, compared with three to six before the crisis, the NRC said.

The paper bases its conclusions on questionnaires completed by 620 of the country's 5,000 real estate offices.

Some 90% of the real estate agents who replied to the survey say they have told clients to lower their prices but are often ignored. This means houses remain overpriced and unsold, the paper said.

Last month, housing minister Stef Blok said some 700,000 homes in the Netherlands are currently worth less than the mortgage on the property, making it more difficult for sellers to move on.


However, changes to the mortgage rules which will make it harder to finance a house from January 1 have led to a mini-boom, according to new figures from the land registry office (kadaster).

In November, 3.6% more houses changed hands than were sold in November 2011, the land registry office said. This is the first time since June the number of completed sales is higher than a year ago.

From January, mortgage tax relief will only be available to people who take out a repayment mortgage.

House prices were down an average 5.2% on a year ago at €220,000, the land registry office said.

Are you trying to beat the deadline? Share your experiences using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Good news.
People should be avoiding real estate agents. They are a shower of overpriced crooks.

By SteveC | 18 December 2012 4:43 PM

I have no sympathy for them at all. The makelaar, notaris, and banking cartel, created, and have profited directly from an overinflated housing market.

By Highlander | 18 December 2012 4:44 PM

Good for them, they charge a lot of money while they added value is close to nil. Internet will soon kill their business model !

By Bird | 18 December 2012 4:53 PM

The strange thing about rules in Holland are that Real Estate Agents who go broke have already spent the DEPOSITS paid by tenants. Trusting tenants think the money is held IN TRUST as it is in civilised countries, but here any cowboy can register as a real estate agent.
Beware, people!

By Marko de Vries | 18 December 2012 4:55 PM

Definitely!! i am one of those who want to sell my house but currently i will have to pay the bank from my own money if i have to do so. Ridiculous situation!! and more ridiculous when the government is not stopping building new houses in the region of Almere.

By AlmereOne | 18 December 2012 5:02 PM

I am not. For the bzilion'th time.

No smart one does.

Why? Rush to beat what? Some fake temporarily change of law designed to buy time in favor of a near total collapse market?

First learn to make quality houses: ceramic tiles, rectangle lands, very well isolated walls, energy labeled, wide spacious stairways, large kitchens with equipments, asbestos free, etc.

By dork | 18 December 2012 9:16 PM

No, of course I'm not rushing to buy now. As the article states, home prices are still inflated. When either the home owners or the real estate agents come to their senses and realize that homes are no longer worth what they once were and lower their asking price, then we'll buy. We're completely ready to buy - we rent, so we don't have to sell a home first - but we won't make a move until prices come down.

By NLer | 18 December 2012 10:21 PM

Every cloud has a silver lining.

By Darren | 18 December 2012 11:42 PM

Dear Home Owners, I am a permanent Dutch Resident trying to maintain legal requirement to stay registered to a Dutch property, but makelaars here ask for 1 year in advance rent as security deposit, completely illegal, yet even practised by Government owned Housing Corporations. So if you are wondering why you appear to not receive rental applicants, your Dutch Agents are defrauding you, me & International Fair Trading Laws. To lease an office I am requested to pay cash for 15 months in advance. Time for EU Ombudsman to investigate Holland!

By Miss Governance | 19 December 2012 1:30 AM

Good, no sympathy for them at all as they over inflate prices and work with a 'you scratch by back I'll scratch yours' ethic. Scumbags with no morals what-so-ever, especially in Amsterdam.

By Monkey | 19 December 2012 7:23 AM

"Internet will soon kill their business model !" I agree, it will become easy to buy a house in the future with the help of the internet from the seller directly, cutting out the middle man. It is a trend that will change many industries to cut costs. This is one of those

By Alex | 19 December 2012 9:04 AM

More unemployment going on. What is the gov going to do about this? Do they even know how to spur the economic ahead by introduing more favourable tax incentives? If they have no clue, they can learn from Estonia and Sweden.

By ufo | 19 December 2012 9:30 AM

Give people a 110 % mortgage, tax write offs,subsidies etc and they will grab it. Has anyone ever explained to them that one day they have to pay it back.

By kees | 19 December 2012 10:11 AM

Real Estate Agencies are going broke because the commission charged is far too low. We Charge 4% on the first $300.000 and 2 % after that.These so called scumbags cannot sell your house because you are all dreamers. Like many house owners you like to rip the public of for that dog box you own.

By kees | 19 December 2012 10:17 AM

Strange, in the UK, the maximum an estate agent would charge was 2%, and the 'norm' was 1%. Kees thinks 4% is a good deal for the clients he 'serves'? Maximum €€€ for minimum physical/intellectual effort, good Dutch 'normen en waarden', toch?

Agencies are going broke because people aren't taking risks. Those companies who are not making people redundant are not giving out permanent contracts. Only those safely hiding in their vaste contract bubbles can get mortgages - and they're riding out the storm in their negative equity 'dog boxes'.

By osita | 19 December 2012 6:48 PM

"Some 90% of the real estate agents who replied to the survey say they have told clients to lower their prices but are often ignored"

Hmmm, maybe the case a small percentage of the time, but in my experience the estate agents want to keep the price as high as possible so their big fat 4 or 2%'s remain as high as possible!! I recently needed a property valued (to buy) and the estate agent said "I would never value a property in that location below x euro" without even seeing the property and refused to discuss the possibility it might be worth less. Mean while other properties were for sale at said location for x-100,000 euro!!

By Monkey | 20 December 2012 10:22 AM

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