Home buyers update: a round-up of the latest housing market news

A round-up of the latest housing news, brought to you by Expat Mortgages. 

Coronavirus has little impact on house prices

The housing market has so far experienced few problems because of coronavirus, with sales remaining steady and more rental properties on the market, according to Dutch real estate agents association NVM. Since mid-March, some 2,500 to 3,000 properties are changing hands every week via NVM agents and that is broadly in line with the pre-crisis situation.

Prices too continue to rise, with an average increase of 7.3% recorded in April, according to the national statistics agency CBS. ‘We have noticed an increase in the number of people asking for meetings and applies for mortgages,’ says Expat Mortgages’ Henk Jansen. ‘The housing market usually slows down in June as people start going on holidays but I expect this will happen later this year.’

‘People were also worried about interest rates going up, and there were a few minor increases at the start of the crisis, but they are already going down again.’

Got problems paying your mortgage ?

According to a recent survey by the AFM Dutch financial services authority, one in seven people are worried about whether they can pay their mortgage because of the coronavirus crisis. Many banks are now offering their customers the option of deferring their payments for three months, (and 18,000 people have already done this) but there are more options out there as well.

You can now contact a free helpline for advice if you want to find out whether there is something you can do to reduce or postpone your monthly payments to get through these difficult months. Find out more

The Netherlands has more million euro homes

Some 65,000 homes in the Netherlands were worth more than €1m by the end of last year, according to research by housing valuation company Calcasa. That is a rise of 20% on 2018!

Increasing property values also mean there are now 53 neighbourhoods in the Netherlands where more than half the houses cost at least €1m. New on the list this year is the Overgooi district of Almere, an exclusive neighbourhood of detached homes where 75% are now worth more than €1m! The Konijnlaan in Wassenaar remains the country’s most expensive street.

Housing market focus: Groningen

Drawn by its mixture of history, nature and keen prices, home seekers have been flocking to Groningen. In the last quarter of 2019 prices in the region as a whole rose the most in 14 years – rocketing by 8.4% and driven by the popularity of its main city.

Groningen will become the fifth largest municipality next year. Photo: Wikipedia

But according to the experts, this city is still a place where the average Dutch house price of around €300,000 can buy you a very appealing home. Find out more about why you should consider buying a house in Groningen.

Digital signatures – progress is being made

How can you sign crucial documents to do with buying a home if you are stuck abroad or in quarantine? Digital signatures provide a way forward but until recently many banks have been reluctant to agree with them.

Coronavirus has forced a change in that and, for example, most banks which work with Expat Mortgages will now accept a digital signature – albeit on a temporary basis. So if you can’t be at the meeting in person just yet, you can still sign the relevant paper work and seal that deal.

So how much can you borrow to buy a home?

Thinking of buying a house but not sure how much you can borrow? Get a rough idea of how much you can spend on that home of your dreams with this quick calculator

And if you would like to find out more about buying a new home, feel free to join one of Expat Mortgages upcoming housing webinars and ask your questions. ‘We’ve had to get used to dealing with the technology but they work exactly like face-to-face seminars we have been holding for years,’ says Henk Jansen. Next up: June 10 and June 25. Register here.

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