Some 3,700 home owners left in debt after selling their home

At least 3,700 home owners were left thousands of euros in debt last year after selling their houses for less money than they needed to pay off their mortgages.

Housing minister Stef Blok told parliament on Friday the average debt was €60,000. The figures are based on information from the Dutch banking association and will serve as a base line for future assessments of housing policy.

Some 2,100 home owners sold their homes following a relationship break-up. In 569 cases people were forced to sell after losing their jobs and in most of the rest they simply defaulted on their mortgage.

The national statistics office CBS estimates more than 25% of home owners currently live in a property worth less than their mortgage.

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