Banks stop making concrete housing price fall forecasts

Dutch banks’ housing market specialists are no longer making concrete forecasts of the decline in house prices, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

House prices have plunged some 18% since their 2008 peak and banks last year predicted a further 7% to 10% fall.

Since then, however, the banks are not making firm forecasts, the paper says. Last week, for example, market leader Rabobank said it expected prices would stabilise, without giving figures.

Bank chiefs

Sources told the paper the chief executives of the three big banks – Gerrit Zalm of ABN Amro, Jan Hommen of ING and Piet Moerland of Rabobank – agreed their banks would not to make any more concrete statements. ‘Bottoming out’ would be as far as they would go, the paper says.

It argues that none of the banks have published a report listing percentages this year, even though this is customary.

Sources told the paper this policy has also been discussed with cabinet ministers, although this has been denied by a spokesman for housing minister Stef Blok. Nevertheless, it is in the government’s interest to reduce pessimism in the housing market, the paper said.


ING told the paper it had not discussed prognoses with Blok and would again publish more concrete forecasts. Both ABN Amro and Rabobank, however, confirmed they were more ‘reticent’ about making forecasts but this had not been agreed with the minister.

The Dutch central bank is, however, continuing to make concrete forecasts. It said on Monday it expected a further 10% decline in house prices between 2013 and 2015.

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