Quite a lot has been emerging about the current state of the housing market in recent days, so I thought it would be a good idea to give you a quick update.
With summer ending, the third quarterly figures are coming in, and again it is clear that the housing market is stabilising in terms of prices at least. The NVM, which represents about half the Netherlands’ estate agents, always publishes quarterly calculations and it says that average prices have risen slightly for the second quarter in a row.
The average increase between July and September was 1.7%, and that comes on top of the 2.8% NVM agents recorded in the second quarter of the year. Prices are still down nationwide on 2022, but that gap is shrinking.
The third quarter is, of course, quieter because it includes the summer when many people are more interested in sunshine and holidays than buying a home. And we should not forget that on the supply side, there has not been much in the way of improvement. So much so, that overbidding seems to be back with us, which is not good news.
Dutch housing shortage
In total, the shortage of housing in the Netherlands has increased again to almost 400,000 – and so far, there are few signs that government policy is going to help. Definitive figures from the national statistics agency CBS says just 3,300 new homes were bought in the second quarter of the year – although, of course, I should point out there is more than one reason why new build sales are so low.
For a start, developers want to be sure they have sold 70% of the homes in a new development before they start work – and high prices are putting some people off. If you look beyond that, however, there are plenty of advantages to buying a new home. Not least of all it will have a high energy label, meaning low bills, and you won’t have to do any renovations.
If you are planning on spending a few years in the Netherlands and can wait a while, it is always worth checking out what is being built.
Check out the Dutch regions
Of course, there are always regional variations – so it is always sensible for a local estate agent to find out what the situation is in the locations you are looking at.
Last week, for example, the Amsterdam real estate agents association MVA came out with new figures that show prices in the capital are going up again when compared with the same period last year – at least that is how its member agents see the situation.
Although the average price sellers are asking has gone down €26,000 to €680,000, the price per square metre has risen 7% to €7,626 – which is quite a striking shift. While it is too early
to draw any firm conclusions, this could be a sign that private landlords are offloading their smaller properties because they are worried about the government’s plans to extend rent controls to cover more homes next year.
In fact, if you are a permanent tenant in a small flat, it might be worth asking your landlord if he is thinking of selling the property – it could be a win-win situation for both of you.
Housing and the election
You are probably aware that the Netherlands will vote for a new government in November, although it might take months and months before a new coalition is actually put together. Housing – both rental and owner-occupied – is of course, one of the big issues. It is pretty clear that whatever colour the next coalition has, they really will have to kick start a massive programme of house building.
But the next few months will be a period when nothing much happens. In the meantime, if you are looking to buy a house, there is nothing to stop you taking the plunge. Feel free to get in touch and we can talk through your options.