Dutch cities looking to ban property developers from certain neighbourhoods
As of January 1, 2022, municipalities in the Netherlands will be able to ban property developers from investing in cheap to mid-priced housing in certain neighbourhoods in order to alleviate the strain on the Dutch housing market and ensure the availability of affordable housing in Dutch cities, NOS reports.
Property developers to be banned from certain Dutch cities
With property prices soaring across the country, the average earner is finding it harder and harder to buy a house in the Netherlands. Not only does the country suffer from a housing shortage, but the relatively recent emergence of large-scale property developers in the big cities purely serves to exacerbate the situation, pushing house prices to reach almost unattainable levels.
As the situation continues to worsen, the Dutch government has decided to take action. As of next year, a new law will mean municipalities will have the power to ban buy-to-let properties in certain areas in cities, stopping investors from purchasing affordable housing purely with the aim to rent it out.
Last year figures from four of the Netherlands’ largest cities revealed that 34 percent of properties sold in 2020 were bought by property developers. Of the approximately eight million homes across the country, almost 700.000 of them are rented out by investors. The government hopes the law change will provide the average prospective buyer with more opportunities to buy.
Protecting affordable housing in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague
NOS reports that the biggest cities in the Netherlands were all pleased to hear about the imminent law change. While certain municipalities - Almere, Breda, Eindhoven, and Nijmegen - have said they will investigate the extent of the issue in their cities to determine whether (and where) such a ban is necessary, others are already preparing the infrastructure so they can implement a ban as soon as the law comes into effect.
Amsterdam told NOS that, ideally, they’d love to enforce a city-wide ban, and are looking to ensure that as many properties as possible fall under the new so-called purchase protection. “The city council has expressed the wish to make the purchase protection applicable to as many houses as possible. We are investigating whether and how we can arrange that," the municipality said.
Similarly, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Groningen, and The Hague have all confirmed plans to introduce a (partial) ban as soon as possible, already naming certain areas that will likely fall under the new ban. The municipality of Rotterdam named Carnisse, while The Hague highlighted the Laakkwartier and Rustenburg Oostbroek. Meanwhile, Utrecht would also like to implement a city-wide ban.