Aegon chief calls for housing market action as loans to first-time buyers drop


Insurance company and mortgage provider Aegon is the latest organisation to call for action to free up the overheated Dutch housing market.

‘The percentage of loans made to first-time buyers in the central urban belt has fallen drastically,’ Aegon Nederland chief executive Maarten Edixhoven said in an interview with the Telegraaf.

In order to boost the market, more homes need to be built and the green heart – the rural area south of Amsterdam and west of Utrecht – should no longer be exempt from new building projects, he said.

Fewer than one in five mortgages agreed by Aegon, which also funds housing construction, is now with a first-time buyer, Edixhoven told the paper. Four years ago, double the number of mortgages went to people starting out on the housing ladder.

Older home owners too are finding it hard to downsize or move to more suitable housing because of the shortage of options. They are now staying put, which has effectively ‘put a cork’ in the availability of homes, he said.

The Telegraaf said this is the first time that one of the Netherlands big financial service groups has warned about the effect of the housing market problems. The Netherlands needs to build 80,000 homes a year for the next 12 years to meet demand, Aegon says.

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