The Dutch housing market has just completed its best quarter in terms of sales since the economic crisis began in 2008, the estate agents organisation NVM said on Thursday.
In total, 36,300 homes changed hands in the final quarter of 2013, the NVM said. House prices are also up by an average 1.5% on the third quarter.
Nevertheless, over 2013 as a whole, house prices fell 1.1% and are down around 20% on 2008.
‘If we look at the number of houses sold and compare that with just before the crisis, we are talking about the beginnings of a cautious recovery,’ said NVM chairman Ger Hukker in a statement.
He pointed out that in 2013, 117,000 houses changed hands, compared with 215,000 in the years before the crisis. In addition, there are wide differences between the different cities and regions.
For example, in Groningen city house sales are picking up but not in the province as a whole, Hukker said.
‘It will be the summer of this year before we can say if the recovery is definite,’ Hukker told Nos television.
The Financieele Dagblad points out that prices continue to fall for expensive detached houses. Their average price was down 0.8% in the fourth quarter and they also took longer to sell than terraced housing.
Housing minister Stef Blok welcomed the new figures saying they show that confidence is returning but that there is also some way to go to reach pre-crisis levels.
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