Finance minister to decide how much home buyers can borrow

From next year, the finance minister will officially decide the maximum amount people can borrow to buy a house, home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies said in a briefing to parliament.

The aim is to remove uncertainty and improve clarity for home owners, Spies said. An independent body will adjust the levels every year in line with developments in spending power.
At the moment banks determine how much people can borrow, based on calculations made by the family spending institute Nibud. But the financial services watchdog has criticised Nibud for being too lax and told banks they face fines if they lend too much.
Neither banks nor consumers are served by the current situation, Spies said.
House prices
On Thursday, the NVM real estate agents’ association published new figures showing house prices are continuing to decline. Compared with 2011, house prices in the third quarter were down 7.5%, the NVM said.
The Financieele Dagblad said on Friday the number of people unable to pay their mortgage has gone up 20% so far this year, and now stands at over 76,000.
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