What is the latest on house prices? Does it still make sense to buy and what are the pros and cons of going for a newly-built property?
Are house prices really going up?
According to figures from both the national statistics agency CBS and the NVM real estate agents association, house prices have risen slightly for the past three months. The increase is marginal, just 0.6% in August, but it does mean a shift in expectations.
There are a few more homes coming on the market but it is still not what we hoped it would be, says Henk Jansen, founder of mortgage advisory group Expat Mortgages.
“We really need a lot of houses to be built which will cost in the region of €400,000 and €650,000, but that is not happening at the moment,” says Henk. “The next government will have to decide how to deal with this, but at the moment, the impasse is not making the situation any easier for house hunters.
One effect of the continuing shortage, and the slight rise in prices, is that it is no longer possible to negotiate asking prices downwards. “People are now overbidding again because there is high demand and low supply, although it is nothing like the situation last year,” Henk says.
Given the current shortages it might be worth considering a new build property, Henk suggests. You won’t have to pay some of the costs that you will be liable for if you buy an older property and new housing will have an A energy label, which is good for your electricity bill.
The downside is that you will have to wait until the property has been completed to move in, and that could take a year or so. And, high costs, red tape and a lack of buyers have also had an impact on the number of new homes which are being built.
But it always pays to look on the bright side, as Expat Mortgages’ Kenneth Leenders explains in this video.
Another option is to look outside the main population centres. “In a way the suburbs, like Muiden and Weesp near Amsterdam, are growing toward the city, rather than the other way round,” says Henk. “So don’t forget to look outside the city centres towards the satellite towns, because that is where the interesting developments are.”
Interest rates are stable
Interest rates were at record lows over a year ago, but are now relatively stable at around 4%. “You could say we are back to normal because interest rates have been between 4% and 5% for about a year now, and we are getting used to it,” says Henk. “That is pretty good historically in the Netherlands and when compared with the situation in lots of other countries.”
Want an idea about how much you can spend on a house in the Netherlands? The Expat Mortgages mortgage calculator will help you establish how much you will be able to borrow.
Buy or rent?
The rental market in the Netherlands is extremely difficult at the moment, with a shortage of supply and very high prices. The outgoing government has plans to increase rent controls which will help to some extent, but it is still not clear when this will happen and the next government may have different ideas.
Henk’s advice? If you are going to be in the Netherlands for at least three years, it makes sense to buy. “If you prepare well, get a broker and a good idea of what you can offer, and find an estate agent you trust, who will go the extras mile for you, then it is still doable,” he says. “In the longer term, property has always been a good investment.”
If you have any questions about the process of buying a home in the Netherlands, you can always check out the FAQs on the Expat Mortgages website to see if they have the answers. Feel free to get in touch – they have an open chat line – if your question is not covered.
Expat Mortgages also hosts weekly webinars on the process of buying a home in the Netherlands and they include lots of opportunities to ask questions. The next one takes place online on October 4 at 5 pm. Sign up here.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation