100,000 familes face negative equity: minister

Up to 100,000 Dutch families could be forced to sell their home for less than they paid for it because of the economic crisis, housing minister Eberhard van der Laan told MPs on Wednesday.

The Labour minister stressed the figure was an estimate, but said it was necessary to take steps to reduce the risk. ‘But we will not be able to help everyone,’ news agency ANP quoted the minister as saying.
MPs want the minister to raise the national mortgage guarantee scheme (NHG), which guarantees some mortgages up to €265,000, to €300,000. Van der Laan is not in favour of this, ANP says.
The minister is currently working on a package of measures to help home owners hit by the economic downturn. House prices fell by 3.1% in the first three months of this year.

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