The Dutch housing market is caught between a rock and a hard place with high demand and few properties on offer.
For the first time since the low point during the 2007-2008 crisis, the number of home sales has fallen back, going down 6% in the final quarter of 2017, the Dutch estate agents association NVM said in a statement.
The decline was most evident in the cheaper end of the market where 36% fewer housing units were for sale than in the year-earlier period.
‘This factor, along with tightened financial regulations, formed an extra barrier for starters on the housing market,’ said NVM chairman Ger Jaarsma at the presentation of the provisional housing market figures for the last three months of 2017.
Prices also continued to rise, with an increase of at least 9.1% in 2017. The average housing unit is now pegged at €269,000 and more than 25% were sold for more than the asking price, the NVM said.
Houses are also changing hands at a faster pace with the average home on the market for only 52 days.
Most buyers opted to choose between four potential new homes. In overheated markets such as Utrecht, Amsterdam and Almere the choice was normally between only two houses, the NVM said.