Rise of first-time buyers drives down house prices in biggest cities
House prices are falling faster in the four largest cities than the rest of the Netherlands as first-time buyers become the dominant players in the market, according to land registry figures.
The average cost of a home in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht was €480,000 in the first quarter of the year, down 8.2% from the same period in 2022. In the rest of the country prices fell by 0.8% to €408,000.
The Dutch land registry Kadaster said 58% of homes in the cities are now sold to first-time buyers, compared to 50% a year ago.
The national mortgage guarantee service (NHG) said high interest rates were starting to restrict the amount people could borrow, prompting first-time buyers to demand lower prices.
In August 2021 someone earning €71,000 a year would be able to borrow up to €405,000 to buy a house, but that level of mortgage would now require an income of €81,500, the NHG calculated.
The NHG insures home loans against the financial impact of personal circumstances such as becoming unemployed or unfit for work, or the breakdown of a relationship between cohabiting partners.
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