Earthquakes do cause Groningen house price drops: academics

groningen earthquake damageThe earthquakes in Groningen have depressed house prices in the province, according to economists from Amsterdam’s VU University.

The research, by Hans Koster and Jos van Ommeren, showed that an earthquake stronger than 2.2 on the Richter scale depressed house prices in an area of up to 10 kilometres from the epicentre.

Koster calculates house prices drop by €3,000 per earthquake. In total, house prices have gone down by €150m because of the quakes, he said.

Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said in 2013 there is no evidence that the quakes are causing a drop in house prices, although estate agents and local government disagreed. He promised at the time to keep a close eye on house price developments in the province.

Thousands of homes have developed cracks because of the quakes and plans are underway to shore up and reinforce some 40,000 buildings.

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