Dutch house prices reach record high in shrinking market

The average sales price of a house in the Netherlands reached a new record high of €288,000 in the second quarter of 2018. But the new high was boosted partially by the scarcity of houses to sell, the Dutch estate agents association NVM said on Thursday. The NVM expects house prices to increase by a further 8% to 10% this year. It is forecasting average house prices will start out at €300,000 early next year. But there are sharp regional differences, the NVM said. The market in The Hague, Amsterdam, Almere, Groningen and their leafy suburbs is described as ‘overheated’ while those in less populated regions as ‘relaxed’. In Amsterdam, which has seen successive quarters of unbridled growth, prices jumped another 19% in the second quarter of this year. Prices in The Hague and Tilburg were 18% higher compared to the 2017 period, the NVM said. Sales numbers down Total sales numbers in the second quarter were between 7% and 10% lower. The buying pattern has changed.   Not wanting to be stuck in their present cramped accommodations, as many as 70% of the buyers are first purchasing a new house before putting their current home on the market, the NVM said. Meanwhile, according to new CBS figures, housing prices in the Netherlands rose by 9.3% in the first quarter of 2018, nearly twice as high as the average price gain elsewhere in Europe. It said the price for new housing was 11.2% higher in the first quarter year-on-year while the cost for existing housing rose by 9%.  More >

Dutch housing market is settling down

The Dutch housing market is becoming more balanced but there is still a shortage of properties for sale, the Dutch real estate agency association NVM said on Thursday. The average price paid for a house in the first three months of 2019 fell €5,000 to €294,000 compared with the final quarter of 2018, the NVM said, adding that prices were stable when adjusted for the types of properties being sold. The number of homes changing hands fell 3.2% year on year. At the same time, the number of houses available per potential buyer rose slightly to 3.9. Despite this, ‘the market does not have enough supply and sellers are still able to make the rules,’ chairman Ger Jaarsma said. ‘All these developments indicate that we are heading for calmer waters, even though the demand for property remains large,’ he said. ‘In addition, a lot of buyers are maxed out – they have reached the maximum that they will pay. There is a new sense of realism.’ On Wednesday, economists at ABN Amro said there are increasingly strong signals that the Dutch housing market is beginning to cool down. House prices are rising less sharply and the number of properties changing hands is decreasing, which indicate falling confidence in the market, economist Philip Bekeloh said. Consumers, he said, don’t consider this to be the right time to buy a new house and the decline in supply means it is harder to find a suitable and affordable home.  More >

'Dutch housing market is cooling down'

There are increasingly strong signals that the Dutch housing market is beginning to cool down, ABN Amro economists said on Wednesday. House prices are rising less sharply and the number of properties changing hands is decreasing, which indicate falling confidence in the market, economist Philip Bekeloh said. Consumers don't consider this to be the right time to buy a new house and the decline in supply means it is harder to find a suitable and affordable home, he said in a website briefing. The ABN Amro economist forecasts that the number of homes changing hands will fall by 5% while price rises will slow to 6% a year. This also has to be set against a backdrop of lower GDP growth, Bekeloh said. National statistics agency CBS said last month house prices were up 9% in January, compared with the year earlier period and the average price has now gone above €300,000 for the first time. House prices are now 36% higher than in June 2013, at the height of the economic crisis, and 6.5% up on their August 2008 peak, the CBS said.  More >

Rent and bills cost tenants 38% of income

Tenants last year were spending an average of 38% of their net income on housing, but home owners only paid 29% of their income on a mortgage and other home-related expenses, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday. The proportion of income which tenants spend on housing has risen by two percentage points since 2012, but home owners are better off because of low interest rates, the CBS said. Rents have risen by some 14% since 2012, the CBS said. The average rent, plus gas and electricity and minus housing benefit of around €100 a month was €675 last year. Home owners were paying just under €1,000 a month to live in their homes, including mortgage tax relief of some €175. Last year housing corporation lobby group Aedes and tenants’ umbrella organisation Woonbond agreed that housing corporation tenants living in rent controlled properties will not face rent rises of more than inflation for the next three years.   More >

Empty house in Moluccan district attacked

A house in Maastricht's Moluccan quarter has been vandalised and sprayed with graffiti to try to deter the city council from placing a Dutch family there. Fixtures inside the empty property on Diederik van Havertstraat were damaged and the windows were sprayed with the message: 'This is the Moluccan district. Only Moluccans here.' The exterior of the house was pelted with eggs. Local broadcaster 1Limburg said the house may have been targeted in response to a letter circulating in the Moluccan community that said housing association Woonpunt was planning to let the house to a family from a different ethnic group. 'This is happening among other things to drive up rents to the point where the average Moluccan family, with or without children, can no longer afford them,' the letter claimed. Woonpunt said it had an agreement with the residents' committee in the Moluccan district that members of the community had priority when a house became available 'provided they meet the criteria on the composition of their household and income', but other families would be considered if no Moluccans applied. 'In the case of this particular home there was no suitable candidate from the Moluccan community, at which point we invited a number of non-Moluccan candidates to view it. Our actions were fully in keeping with the agreement.Some members of the Moluccan district nevertheless disagreed with us. We will therefore hold further talks with the neighbourhood on this matter.' It is not the first time Moluccan communities have reacted strongly to attempts to house families from other backgrounds in their neighbourhoods. In 2014 a family had to move out of a house in Hoogeveen, Drenthe, when it was sprayed with slogans saying 'Moluccans only, Moluccan neighbourhood.' The Moluccans were brought to the the Netherlands in the wake of the Indonesian independence wars, after the Netherlands could not guarantee them the free state they had promised in return for military support. Many were housed in camps when they first arrived, including the former Nazi transit camp at Westerbork.   More >

Swedish housing group buys 9,500 NL homes

Swedish property investment group Heimstaden has bought over 9,500 Dutch homes from British investment group Round Hill for €1.4bn, the biggest deal ever agreed in the Netherlands in terms of the number of properties. The homes are spread throughout 135 different local council areas and generate annual rent of some €76m. The deal means Heimstaden is now the third biggest private housing owner in the Netherlands, the company said in a press release. 'The Netherlands has for some time been an obvious market for us to enter and after our first acquisition in October 2018, we have been dedicated to finding new potential acquisitions,' said CIO Christian Fladeland. 'This portfolio gives us a unique position with significant exposure to a very favorable housing market with strong macroeconomic fundamentals and significant national shortage of apartments.' Heimstaden will focus on upgrading the portfolio while focusing on the market and reasonable rents, Fladeland said.  More >

Blaricum has highest average home price

The gap between the cheapest and most expensive places in the Netherlands to buy a home has never been so wide, according to new calculations by national statistics office CBS and the land registry service Kadaster. The average price of a home in Blaricum, near Hilversum, was over €900,000 - 6.3 times the average cost of a home in the Groningen town of Delfzijl (€142,000). The €750,000 difference between the cheapest and most expensive places to buy is partly due to the different sorts of housing on offer. The top five - Blaricum, Laren, Bloemendaal, Wassenaar and Heemstede - have far more large detached homes than Delfzijl and the other cheaper local authorities, the CBS points out. Three other Groningen towns - De Marne, Pekela and Oldambt - and Den Helder in Noord Holland complete the list of cheapest places to buy a home.   More >