House prices fall 4% in September, The Hague worse than average

House prices were down 4.1% in September compared with a year ago, which takes them back to the level of early 2003, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Compared with August 2008, when the market was at its height, house prices have fallen 20%, the CBS said in a statement. However, the drop is less than recorded in August and July.

Prices in Utrecht fell less than in the other three big cities in the third quarter, with a drop of 2%, the CBS said. In Rotterdam house prices were down 3.2% and in Amsterdam 3.4%. However in The Hague, house prices fell more than the national average at 4.7%.

Some 74,000 homes changed owner in the first nine months of this year, which is down 9% on the same period in 2012. However, the number of third quarter transactions was up on the year earlier period.

Estate agents’ association NVM said earlier this month confidence in the housing market is beginning to return and transactions have risen for two quarters in a row. Nevertheless, prices continue to fall and there are very strong regional variations, the NVM said.

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