Wednesday 25 May 2022

A home of your own? Key tips for first time buyers in 2022

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Planning to buy a house in Amsterdam or anywhere else in the Netherlands for the first time in 2022? Here are some new laws and other issues you should think about when deciding to take the plunge.

The housing market

Experts expect house prices in the Netherlands to continue to rise in 2022 and that interest rates will remain both stable and low. Economists at ABN Amro, for example, suggest house prices could rise by 12% this year after going up by an average of 15% in 2021.

The upward trend is also still likely in 2023, ABN Amro says. This means there is no point in waiting for prices to drop if you do plan to buy, so start looking around seriously now.

New rules

A couple of pieces of new legislation come into effect this year, which ministers and local government officials hope will lead to more opportunities for starters.

The government has, for example, brought in legislation which allows local councils to stop investors buying up cheaper homes and renting them out. They hope this will help starters on the housing ladder by giving them an advantage over investors with deep pockets. Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht are all planning to make use of this new rule.

If you do decide to buy but are then posted abroad, you will still be able to rent out your home on a temporary basis while you are away.

Taxes

As in 2021, first time buyers under the age of 35 will not have to pay transfer tax if they are buying a house costing less than €400,000. The maximum price of a property covered by the national mortgage guarantee scheme (NGH) has also gone up slightly to €355,000 but you can get a guarantee for as much as €368,300 if you decide to make your new home more energy efficient.

Mortgage tax relief is also being cut slightly next year, from 43% to 40%. Nevertheless, you can still borrow 100% of your mortgage in 2022.

By the way, when deciding how much money you can spend a month on your home, don’t forget to take all the extra costs into account as well. These include local property taxes which are used to pay for local services, waste collection fees and contributions to your local home owners association, if you are part of one.

Mortgages

The new government has not yet said it has any plans to make more changes to the Dutch mortgage tax relief system, despite mutterings that action is needed by the European Union. The Dutch system is currently one of the most generous in Europe.

But of course, tax relief only applies to two types of mortgage – the annuity mortgage (annuïteitenhypotheek) and the linear mortgage (lineaire hypotheek). Be aware of that if you are offered a different type or mortgage by your financial services advisor.

More choice – eventually

The new government has pledged to increase the housing stock by one million homes by 2030 and has appointed a special minister to oversee the process. Some two-thirds of these new homes will also be officially affordable, which means there should be more properties around for first time buyers in the future – but not, of course, in the coming couple of years.

By the way, if you are looking for a more unusual property, the new government also plans to create 15,000 homes by redeveloping redundant offices every year as well.

Get prepared

All this being said, being properly prepared is essential if you want to be able to act quickly in the current market. So when you have worked out your budget, start getting your paperwork in order, including an employer’s declaration about your job and salary, and information about any additional assets or debts you may have. My Dutch Mortgage.online has a useful checklist of all the documents you might need.

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