News update: The Dutch housing market may be moving up again

House prices in the Netherlands appear to be stabilising, and an end has come to the decline, one year after prices first started going down.

New figures from national statistics office CBS show Dutch house prices rose by 0.5% between June and July, after a similar marginal increase in June. And the year-on-year difference has been -5.5% for the past three months, another indication that the market is calming down.

Last month, estate agents’ organisation NVM said the Dutch housing market is beginning to recover, with house prices rising slightly in the previous three months. The CBS figures are based on completed transactions and the NVM’s statistics are based on agreed sales, meaning the NVM’s figures are slightly more current, even though they only cover around half the Dutch housing market.


Fewer homes for sale in the Netherlands

The CBS also says the number of sales agreed in July reached just under 15,000, which is 9% down on last year. So far this year, almost 100,000 houses have changed hands. That might sound like a lot, but it is still down 7% in 2022 and is another sign that the shortage of suitable homes to buy continues to be a problem.

Is that likely to improve in the near future? When it comes to new housing, there is no uptick in the offing. According to real estate market monitor Capital Value, just 55,000 permits for new housing are likely to be handed out to developers and housing corporations this year. The government was hoping for 100,000.

Last year, the total was just 64,500, which also fell far short of the cabinet’s target. This means the shortage of housing in the Netherlands has now increased to some 400,000, Capital Value says.


Dutch housing market reforms

MPs will decide in September whether or not the housing crisis in the Netherlands should be treated as a “controversial subject,” – which would mean all plans for shaking up the rental and owner-occupier market would be put on ice. Insiders say this is likely to happen for some, if not all, of the plans.

With the general election scheduled for November and a long cabinet formation process ahead after that, it will be months before there is any clear sign of what the new government plans to do to get the housing market moving again.