Buying a house in 2023: Everything you need to know
Thanks to new rules and changes to the Dutch housing market, now might be the best time for expats to make a move - literally! In this article, Expat Mortgage Platform breaks down everything you need to know about buying a house in 2023.
Falling housing prices
In September 2022, the Dutch bank ABN AMRO predicted that Dutch housing prices would fall by up to 2,5% in 2023. However, the Dutch bank recently announced that the cost of buying a house is actually expected to fall by 6% instead. They also predict that the price will fall to 4% in 2024. This is a stark contrast to the previous trend of housing prices nearly doubling over the past nine years in the Netherlands.
However, other Dutch banks such as ING and Dutch Central Bank predict that the housing prices will only fall by around 2%.
New mortgage rules in 2023
There are new rules regarding mortgages in the Netherlands in 2023. These are some of the most important rules to keep in mind when purchasing a new home, especially if you are doing it for the first time.
Tax reduction on interest
The first rule is that getting a tax reduction on interest (renteaftrek) is only possible for annuities or linear mortgage models. These are mortgages wherein the loan is paid off monthly over the course of 30 years. There are also other types of Dutch mortgages, but the annuities and linear mortgages are the most common models.
The second change is that the general transfer tax (overdrachtsbelasting) rate will be 10,4%. Since January 2021, first-time home buyers between the ages of 18 - 35 are not required to pay transfer tax. However, the cost of the house must not exceed 440.000 euros. If you are 35 and over and you are going to live in the house yourself, you must pay 2% transfer tax.
Eased mortgage conditions
On January 1, 2013, the Dutch government eased mortgage conditions for first-time home buyers if an increase in the buyer’s income is expected. This rule continues to apply in 2023.
Changes to the house bidding process
Significant overbidding has become a regular phenomenon for many buyers in the Netherlands. This is due to the fact that there is a large demand for houses and a limited supply. Additionally, bidding on a house can be a vague and unclear process as you often aren't aware of what other interested parties are bidding on the house. It’s also not clear whether the real estate broker / agent you are working with is properly qualified or licensed.
Digital bidding platform
As of January 1, 2023, a digital bidding platform has been created to provide buyers with a more transparent home-buying process. The digital system allows all potential buyers to view which bids have been made on a property thus far and also allows them to check the sales process.
What is more, the bidding log makes the buying process more secure. All real estate agents who are affiliated with the platform meet the training requirements and are also put in a register which subjects them to disciplinary law in the event of any abuse or violation. Your bid is also stored in a “safe” where it only becomes visible to the estate agent after the bidding time has passed. However, if it is an opening bid, then your bid will be sent directly to the seller.
Buying a Dutch house
Buying a house in the Netherlands is not an easy process, especially as an expat. There are various obstacles to overcome and conditions to meet in order to secure the house of your dreams. However, these new changes to the housing market might make the process a little easier than in the past decade.
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Are you interested in buying a house in the Netherlands but don’t know where to start? Expat Mortgage Platform helps internationals find the right mortgages for their situation. You can reach their team of experts by calling +31 (0)10 750 1750 or emailing [email protected].