Saturday 22 January 2022

Real estate investors snap up fewer homes this year, as tax increases

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The cabinet’s decision to increase property transfer tax for investors from January this year would appear to be having an effect, according to research by the Dutch land registry, or Kadaster.

Investors bought 10,384 homes in the six months to the end of June, the lowest figure since 2013, and the equivalent of 7.4% of all properties to come on the market, broadcaster NOS quoted the preliminary figures as saying.

In the second half of 2020, they bought more than 40,000 homes, or 20% of total sales, and in the first six months of last year, almost 20,000, or 14% of the total.

In January the government put up the property transfer tax for private investors from 2% to 8%, and slashed it to zero for young first-time buyers.

The aim was to put off investors and boost young people’s chances of getting a foot on the housing ladder. ‘The impact of the higher tax is clearly visible,’ Kadaster spokesman Paul de Vries told NOS.

In total, 8.6% of the Dutch housing stock is in the hands of private investors, defined by the Kadaster as organisations or private individuals who own at least three properties. But in Amsterdam, the figure is 21% and in The Hague, 19%.

From January 2022, local authorities will also be given more powers to keep investors out, by designating certain areas as owner-occupier only. This means people will only be allowed to buy a property if they or a close family member actually live in it.

The Hague is one of the cities planning to use the new legislation, which, officials say, will protect the housing market and makes things easier for first time buyers.

Social housing

However, property investor lobby group Vastgoed Belang says the measure will make it even harder for people to find a home to rent outside the social housing sector.

‘The Netherlands has fewer non-rent controlled properties than anywhere else in Europe,’ spokesman Laurens van de Noort said. ‘Everyone who wants to find a place in the city and can’t or don’t want to buy will be hit by this.’

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