Hot house? Dutch housing market could be cooling, say estate agents

After months of overheating, the Dutch housing market is feeling a very slight winter chill according to the latest house sale figures.

The Dutch estate agents’ association NVM announced on Thursday that although prices are still rising, they appear to be reaching a ceiling.

More houses were sold in the last quarter of 2018 than in the rest of the year – at just over 39,000 – but this was a drop of 8% on the same period in 2018.

There were also a fifth fewer houses on the market compared to 2017, with ‘for sale’ boards up at around 46,500 properties nationally. The last quarter of the year has, in the past five years, traditionally seen the most sales.




‘In some regions, particularly in Amsterdam, we are slowly reaching the ceiling of constantly rising prices,’ said NVM chairman Ger Jaarsma in a press release. ‘More and more consumers can’t or won’t support ever-increasing prices.’

But the organisation still describes the housing market as dangerously ‘overheated’ – likening it to a Dutch code red weather warning.

It has called for 80,000 new homes to be built each year, but expects that not more than 70,000 will be constructed in 2019.

Expats

The Parool notes that in the ‘dry baked’ Amsterdam market, more expensive houses are increasingly been sold rather than rented according to the capital’s MVA estate agents’ group.

‘It seems that there aren’t so many people in Amsterdam who can rent expensive homes,’ chairman Jerry Wijnen reportedly said. ‘I’m thinking about rentals from €2,000 to €2,500. Lots of expats from companies like Booking.com want to live in the city but on their salaries can only afford half of that.’

This contradicts a claim last week by Amsterdam head of housing Laurens Ivens that ‘Amsterdam families’ are being squeezed out by the arrival of richer people and a shortage of affordable homes.


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