One in seven real estate agents expects to go bankrupt

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.
Mini-boom
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.
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