Mortgage lending limits to be reduced as cost of living rises

Selling out a generation? The interests of home owners are part of the problem Photo:

Budget institute Nibud is expected to recommend restricting the maximum amount people can borrow to buy a house next year when it publishes its official advice on October 1.

The organisation’s decision is binding on the government and mortgage lenders, and a reduction is inevitable in the wake of recent interest rate rises. Borrowers currently pay around 4% interest on a fixed 20-year loan, compared to 1.5% a year ago.

‘We’re still busy working out what the borrowing limit should be,’ researcher Marcel Warnaar told the Parool.

‘With purchasing power falling and inflation rising at the moment, it’s important to look at the situation very closely. We will take everything that was announced in the budget into account and look at what effect it will have.

‘Buying power will fall this year and next year, so the expectation is that lending capacity will go down.’

Price drop

Restricting lending is expected to increase pressure on the housing market and could trigger a drop in prices next year. The CBS recorded a marginal month-on-month drop in August, while year-on-year growth has slowed to 11.9%, from more than 20% in January.

Peter Boelhouwer, professor of housing systems at TU Delft, said rising costs of food and energy bills were already having an impact on the amount people could borrow for mortgages.

‘People just can’t find the money any more,’ he said. ‘The prices will respond to that and buyers will take a more cautious approach. They want to sell their own house first, which will increase availability.

‘Before you know it we’ll be in a housing market recession, but we’re not there yet.’

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