Using the Dutch housing market to your advantage

Using the Dutch housing market to your advantage

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Karola Grünenbaum from Stark Real Estate & Relocation Services explains why it’s a good idea for first-time homebuyers to keep a close eye on the housing market.

Are you serious about purchasing your first home? If so, you should keep a watchful eye on the housing market to see if it’s in your favour.

Don't miss out!

In recent years, the housing market has favoured sellers. According to the statistics of property registration records, more houses are being sold in the Netherlands than ever before.

Almost 165.000 homes were sold in 2016, after just an average of 78 days on the market. That's 23 days less than in 2015.

According to DNB (De Nederlandsche Bank), housing prices will increase this year, as well as in 2018, with an average of 5 percent depending on the neighbourhood.

The average selling price in the last quarter of 2016 was 248.000 euros. At the moment, this is a price category that is selling very fast, and well over the asking price in certain areas.

Sales and consumer trust are back to levels reached before the crisis hit in 2008, which is very good for future homeowners, like yourself. Make sure that you don’t miss out!

What to keep in mind when buying your first home

Depending on where you want to live, you may end up having to pay a small fortune for the home of your dreams. Therefore, watching the market, surveying neighbourhoods, and finding a good, savvy agent will help you in your search. After all, this is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make in your life.

Whilst you should not become a slave to the housing market, you should keep the following four things in mind before buying your first home in the Netherlands:
The past market value of the house you want to buy
How much your budget can get you, comparing different neighbourhoods and towns
Neighbourhood value
 If your house will increase in value over time

Besides watching the housing market, there are two other areas of interest you should keep an eye on as well:
 National interest rates for mortgages
 Building rates in your area

Be smart with your money

Just because you buy a home for a great deal of money does not mean you will make a huge profit when it's time to sell it. The housing market will continue to change and since this is your first home, you may want to choose something you can pay off quickly and make a large profit on in the future.

Also, remember that any improvements you make on the home will increase its overall value. Just don’t spend too much money on improvements. Creating a home improvement budget and sticking with it, will help you make those monthly mortgage payments and other payments that might be due.

One of the biggest mistakes that first-time homeowners make is buying a home for a lot less than they had budgeted for and then making improvements that will end up costing them more money in the end.

If you get a great deal on a home, use that extra money as a cushion in case you lose your job or are too ill to work. Owning a home is a big responsibility. Knowing how the market is moving, and spending your money wisely will help you when you are creating a budget, applying for a mortgage, and deciding how much to put down on a home.

Don’t wait too long

If you can afford to make the move into your new home immediately, your agent should not wait too long before making an offer for you. 

The housing market can change quickly and with the competition out there, you may end up losing money if you don’t act fast after seeing a home that you like.

Keep your eyes open

If you're on a budget or have specific needs, such as finding a home that will be worth more when it sells, then it is worth paying attention to current housing trends and keeping a watchful eye on the homes in your area so you don't miss the deals.

7 things to keep in mind when watching the housing market

Keep the following things in mind when you are searching for a house to buy:
The number of homes located in your area
The number of days the home has been on the market
The price of renting vs. buying
The number of homes that are in your price range
Your maximum budget
Interest rates in comparison to housing prices
The time of year

Why buying a house in spring is a good idea

Springtime (and early summer) is a good time to buy a home for several reasons:
More people want to sell
It is easier to make appointments to view homes
Prices are usually lower
People are more willing to reduce their asking price

There will be plenty of people who couldn't sell their homes during the autumn or winter months and who will be trying to sell well before summertime. Homeowners who need to sell their homes before a certain time are more willing to reduce the price of their homes.

Whilst you should consider viewing homes at any time of the year, you will find that many homes will be lower in price during springtime to attract buyers. This is also the time when interest rates are re-evaluated and many lenders are more lenient when approving loans.

Final tips

Whilst the housing market can change, the idea of selling one’s home will not. Homeowners may choose to wait out the current housing market, but if they are eager to buy another home or move to a new place, their wait will be short-lived.

Negotiate with homeowners until a fair price can be reached, whether it's a sellers' market or a buyers' market.

You may have to play the bidding game for a week or two, but in the end, the person with the biggest desire to buy or sell will end up compromising the most. 

Are you interested in buying a house in the Netherlands? Contact Stark Real Estate & Relocation Services in The Hague to book an appointment:
› Telephone: 070 3262287 or 06 54710886
› Mail:

Karola Grunenbaum


Karola Grunenbaum

Karola Grünenbaum is nr. 1 real estate specialist for expats looking for profound advice about housing in The Hague. She has 20 years experience in the field. Karola is the...

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