Monday 17 January 2022

Estate agents call for speed in building new homes as market grinds to a halt

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Dutch housing market has ground to a halt, with little supply and little prospect of change in the immediate future, according to real estate agents’ association NVM in its latest report.

In 2020, 172,000 homes changed hands but in 2021, only 140,000, the NVM said. In addition, properties were on the market for an average of just 23 days and 80% sold for more than the asking price.

‘People are not moving up the housing ladder and the market has ground to a halt,’ said NVM chairman Onno Hoes. ‘This means focusing on more supply is crucial and this is why we have to get new developments up to speed. Then the market will open up again.’

The last time sales fell so sharply was in 2008 and 2009, when the financial crisis led people to withdraw from the market.

At the end of December, 15,600 homes were up for sale, with an average price of €428,000, the NVM said. This is up 20% year on year.

The number of detached homes on the market fell by almost 50%, while the supply of apartments was down 20%. The trend towards moving out of the big cities was also apparent in parts of Drenthe, the north east of Brabant and in the Veluwe and German borders.

Interest rates

‘Interest rates are low and will remain so. Job security is high and economic growth is good, so there are enough reasons to move, if there are houses,’ Hoes told broadcaster NOS. ‘The only thing that will help is building more homes, and the new coalition agreement does offer some perspective.’

The cabinet includes a specialist housing and planning minister for the first time in 10 years. He has been charged with ensuring 100,000 new homes come on the market a year.

In the final quarter of 2021, just 8,800 new properties came on the market, the lowest total since 2013.

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