Thursday 19 September 2019

Home ownership out of reach for many as house prices soar

Photo: DutchNews.nl

It is virtually impossible for people with an income of €36,000 a year – the most common income in the Netherlands – to buy a house, according to research by online mortgage company De Hypotheker.

Just 6% of the houses for sale in the Netherlands have a price of €163,000 or below – which is the maximum someone earning the modal salary of €2778 gross a month could borrow.

A couple both earning a modal income would be able to borrow €285,000 which would give them access to a home in many parts of the country. However, they would have little choice in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht and their surroundings.

De Hypotheker director Michel van den Akker told the Telegraaf that the development is worrying because people are no longer moving up the housing ladder, freeing up homes at the bottom end for first time buyers.

It is crucial that more affordable homes are built, he said, and that more is done to encourage pensioners to downsize when their children have left home.

Hans van der Ploeg of estate agents association VBO called on housing minister Kasja Ollongren to intervene.

He says first time buyers are being hampered by a lack of financing options. Many are on temporary contracts which makes it difficult to get a mortgage and former students are finding their student loans count against them as well, he said.

‘They are being forced into paying €800 for a simple apartment which means they can’t afford to save up,’ he told the AD. ‘And because they can’t buy, they can’t build up assets. They deserve a level playing field.’

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