As house prices rise, experts call on Dutch government to take action
Bad news for anyone looking to buy a house in the Netherlands: for the fourth month in a row, Dutch house prices have broken records, recording the largest price increase in more than 20 years in July 2021.
House prices in the Netherlands continue to rise
In May, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported that house prices broke the record set in April 2021, experiencing the sharpest increase in 20 years. Then, in June, figures revealed that the cost of the average house in the Netherlands had risen to above 400.000 euros for the first time.
Now, CBS has once again reported a shocking price hike, revealing that the price of an existing home (i.e. not a new build) rose by more than 16,3 percent between July 2020 and July 2021 - the largest increase recorded since October 2000. The latest increase means properties are now 74 percent more expensive than during the 2013 dip.
Earlier this summer, real estate association NVM pointed out that prospective buyers are now regularly having to overbid by at least 50.000 euros in order to secure the purchase of their dream home. "We hear very extreme examples where brokers say: what is happening here is actually irresponsible," said NVM chairman Onno Hoes. "But yes, if people want to pay for it, they are free to do so."
Housing associations call on Dutch government to take action
The extremely competitive housing market in the Netherlands is the result of a number of factors. NVM highlights the coronavirus pandemic as well as the growing trend of over-bidding as two reasons, but the main culprit is the country’s obvious housing shortage.
A number of housing associations have called on the Dutch government to take action about this growing issue. “The new government can no longer ignore this,” says Gert Jan Bakker from the housing foundation !Woon. He has suggested various fiscal measures, such as a cap on rents or tax for rental incomes, that the next cabinet could introduce to curb the crisis.
While rising prices have been an issue in Amsterdam for years, the costs are now being felt across the country: “The frustration is now widely felt throughout the Netherlands,” Jab Bakker says, “no longer just in Amsterdam or the Randstad.” On September 12, hundreds - if not thousands - are expected to gather in the capital to protest the national housing shortage.