In the last five years the Dutch housing market has completely changed. It has never been this hard to find a house. This is a consequence of extreme competition in the market. According to AD, the chance of an offer being accepted is not larger than 10 percent. The large number of 200.000 offered houses has decreased to a small 48.000. According to Korné Pot, who works for the biggest estate agent of the Netherlands, a buyer would only have a maximum of three houses to choose from.
It is not only the decreasing supply of houses that causes this crisis. Prices are also increasing, which makes it harder to find an appropriate house. According to RTLZ, the average house costs 313.000 euro and if one would like to buy a newly built house this would result in an average price of 391.000 euro. Furthermore, three quarters of the housing supply is more expensive than 250.000 euro. This is a price many simply cannot afford. Especially starters in the housing market have become a victim of the abrupt change in the market. For them the supply of houses with a price below 250.000 euro way too low. Starters also have to compete with an increasing number of private individuals and companies who buy houses to rent them out again. The low interest rate causes them to search for investing opportunities with larger returns. In addition to this, the risks involved are rather low.
The future does not look that bright either. Both ABN AMRO and Rabobank predict a further increase in prices. However, they state that price growth has already peaked and prices will increase less and less this year. Where prices increased with a rate of 7 percent, ABN AMRO predicts a 4 percent increase this year and Rabobank a 4,5 percent increase.
A solution for the problem could be an increase in the supply of new houses. However, the number of new houses being constructed is very disappointing. Last year, there have been built 66.000 houses. This is a number which is far too low for the corresponding demand of houses. Therefore, the government is hoping to increase this to 75.000 houses this year.
By: Jesse Derks