Again fewer licences for new homes, but pension funds step in


Just 11,200 permits for new homes were handed out in the third quarter of this year, a 27% drop on the second quarter and the lowest total in years, national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.

The number of permits is an indication of how many new homes will come on the market within two or three years. On average, the CBS says, it takes two years from licence to completion. 

The decline is due to several factors, including a shortage of equipment, supplies and personnel, says CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen. However, higher mortgage interest rates have also led developers to downscale their plans because of doubts about whether people can afford the completed property. 

Housing is a key issue in the general election, and the outgoing government had called for the creation of 100,000 new homes a year up to 2030 to meet demand. So far this year, just 40,000 permits have been granted. 

Social impact investing

Nevertheless, two of the country’s biggest pension funds, APB and BfpBouw said on Thursday they would invest a combined €400 million in creating 1,500 new, affordable homes in the coming years. 

“Investing in affordable, sustainable housing and care-related homes pays out twice, because of the social value of the investment,” said ABP director Harmen van Wijnen.

The investment is being carried out through the Bouwinvest-led Dutch Social Impact Real Estate Partnership.

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