First time buyers on average incomes only earn enough to be able to buy 3.4% of the homes in the Netherlands, unless they have savings or can borrow from their family, according to calculations by property valuation company Calcasa.
Couples, however, would have access to around 40% of the market, the Calcasa calculations show.
House prices fell sharply in the second half of 2022 but the average price remains €447,000 and that is far beyond the budget of the average first timer buyer, who can usually borrow up to around €200,000. This figure is based on a gross salary of €48,000 and interest rates of 4%. Couples, by contrast, could borrow up to €360,000.
‘The position of first time buyers has worsened in recent years,’ Calcasa’s Tijs Pellemans told broadcaster NOS. ‘House prices are the main reason, because they have gone up far higher than incomes over the past five years.’
House prices fell by 3.5% in the final quarter of last year and are forecast to fall by a further 6% in 2023.
Pellemans said he expected that falling house prices will improve the position of young first time buyers but not significantly. ‘A lot has to happen to compensate for the price rises of the past five years,’ he said.
The cabinet last year scrapped property transfer tax for first time buyers under the age of 35 at the lower end of the market and has also slightly relaxed the rules for borrowing.
Just 150,000 of the 4.5 million owner occupied properties in the Netherlands are valued at or below €200,000, but there are very wide regional variations. In half of the Netherlands local authority areas starters can chose from fewer than 1% of the houses on the market and nothing at all in expensive areas like Blaricum, Landsmeer and Laren.
If house prices fall by a further 5%, single first time buyers will have access to a further 50,000 homes, Calcasa said.
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