Just 12,800 permits for new housing were handed out in the first three months of this year, a drop of 28% from a year ago and the lowest total since 2016.
Last year as a whole, local authorities granted permission for 63,400 new homes, but that too was down on previous years, national statistics agency CBS said.
The government says it wants to see 100,000 new homes completed every year to eradicate the housing shortage, which has led to long waits for social housing and a shortage of properties to buy.
The low number of permits will impact housing completions in several years. It takes, on average, two years between a licence and the property coming on the market. The CBS figures don’t include new homes which are realised through converting former offices.
Residential construction has been hit by rules on nitrogen pollution as well as soaring costs. Investors have also been more reluctant to put money into rental properties because of new restrictions on rents while buyers have less to spend because of interest rate rises.
Last July Dutch real estate investors wrote to housing minister Hugo de Jonge warning that new home construction projects will slow drastically if he presses ahead with plans to regulate rents for up to 90% of the country’s residential property.
Without change, just 50,000 new homes will be built every year, rather than the 100,000 that the government is counting on, lobby group Neprom told the minister in a briefing.
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