Dutch housing market enjoys strong upturn

Photo: Faungg’s photos

The Dutch housing market is enjoying a strong recovery in both prices and sales, as confidence increases.

The Netherlands’ housing market suffered a series of heavy blows in the past few years. Between 2008 and 2013, average values fell 3 per cent year-on-year, but demand began to increase in 2013 and 2014. Last year, the Netherlands was the European country with the largest percentage of foreign investors, just ahead of Finland, according to ABN AMRO.

The Dutch bank says that over 9 billion euros was invested in real estate in the Netherlands in 2014, nearly double the amount recorded in 2013. It attributes the boom to foreign investors, with demand fuelled by both attractive returns and the positive outlook for the credit market.

At the end of last year, the bank’s economists estimated a 1 per cent rise in house. With prices up faster than predicted, though, they have upgraded their forecast to a 3 per cent increase in 2015 and a further 3 per cent in 2016.

“The housing market has exceeded our expectations,” says Philip Bokeloh, economist at ABN AMRO. “A key reason for the strong recovery is the low mortgage interest rate. Other favourable factors are the improved labour market and higher growth of disposable income. Confidence is high. People who previously postponed buying a home are now making the move.”

Sales are also expected to rise 10 per cent in 2015, another outperforming of expectations – indeed, last year, this number was predicted to stabilise. Sales are anticipated to climb a further 5 per cent in 2016.