Group of home buyers without a mortgage is growing

According to figures from the national land registry, almost a third of home owners bought their property without a mortgage last year, the FD reports.

Half of buyers over 70 did not have to take out a mortgage to buy a house in 2016. A quarter of the homes bought in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague were straight cash transactions while in Delft, Groningen and Maastricht the figure hovered around the 30% mark.

In 2016 private buyers bought some €8.6bn worth of houses without taking out a mortgage compared to €4bn in 2011, the paper writes.

The land registry identified the buyers as either relatively old, people looking to take the next step up the property ladder or investors. Almost 43% owned several properties while 38% were looking for a new home.

The trend is not a positive one for first-time buyers. ‘People who don’t need a mortgage have a much better negotiating position,’ land registry spokesman Paul de Vries told the paper.

Access to the housing market will become more difficult because first-time buyers have not had the opportunity to save a significant amount of money and don’t have a home to sell at a profit. Without generous parents or a big inheritance, home buyers in the big cities will be sidelined and have to rent, often at inflated prices, the FD writes.

Buy-to-let trend

The group of private investors is growing particularly fast, according to Rabobank economist Christian Lennartz. ‘They can keep up with the significant hikes in house prices,’ the paper quotes him as saying.

Low interest rates encourage them to make money by investing in buy-to-let properties which they can easily rent out due to housing shortages, particularly in the big cities, he said.

The trend is self-perpetuating, according to Lennartz, because with the money earned, private investors buy up more homes. ‘In Germany and the UK we have seen that, once started, this is a process that will be difficult to halt,’ he told the paper.



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