Urgent call from big cities for government to tackle Dutch housing crisis
House prices in the Netherlands have been skyrocketing over the past year, with each month bringing more record-breaking price hikes across the country. As the situation continues to worsen, the major Dutch cities have called on the government to finally take some much-needed action and invest billions in the construction of new housing.
Housing and rental prices in the Netherlands continue to rise
That anyone looking to buy a house is facing increasingly steep prices is not new information; since the spring, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has been reporting record-breaking increases in house prices. August saw house prices in the Netherlands rise by a staggering 17,8 percent.
Recently, renting in the Netherlands has also become more expensive. Over the summer, rent prices in the free sector rose by 2,5 percent compared to summer 2020, rental platform Pararius has reported.
Former estate agent and Pararius chief Jasper de Groot attributes the rising prices to the return of expats to the Netherlands: “Rental homes that they would normally rent remained vacant and were reduced in price to allow them to be rented out. Travel restrictions have now been largely lifted and rents are rising in popular expat cities such as Amsterdam," he told NOS.
The Netherlands faces growing shortage of housing
While overbidding on properties had become the norm for many prospective buyers - this summer, 80 percent of the houses sold went for over the asking price - new trends show that the competitive rental market means renters are now also facing steep competition for properties, forcing them to offer more than the monthly rent advertised.
This week, research conducted by investment management company Colliers revealed that an estimated 200.000 people in the Netherlands fall into the bracket where their salaries are too high to be eligible for social housing, but too low to buy or rent a house in the majority of municipalities in the Netherlands.
Urgent appeal for Dutch government to invest in new housing
As frustrations grow and the situation worsens, 16 cities, the provinces of North Holland, South Holland, and Utrecht, and the cyclists union and transport companies in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague are calling on the Dutch government to take serious action in the form of a “substantial, unprecedented investment" in housing and infrastructure.
They’re calling on the next government to allocate an additional 1,5 to 2 billion euros a year for the construction of 600.000 new homes, from now until 2040. Furthermore, funds must be invested in improving public transport and other infrastructure to ensure these new homes are accessible and appealing to buyers and renters.
It is estimated that between 900.000 and 1 million new homes will have to be built over the next 20 years in order to keep up with the growing demand. Those involved in the appeal warn that if this investment does not materialise, several key construction projects will not be able to go ahead and the current housing crisis will continue.