2013 Residential Market report for the Netherlands: positive reversal in quarter four.

The outstanding final quarter of 2012 almost made up for the fall in sales in the housing market in the rest of the year. The Dutch association of Property Agents NVM noted a strong increase of sales during the last months of the year. Year to year figures nevertheless indicate a 4%decrease of sales and average selling prices 7% under the 2011 level.

According to estimates, nearly 34,000 homes were sold during the fourth quarter, of which more than 25,000 by NVM members. This is 31.8% more than in the third quarter. In the whole of 2012, some 115,000 homes were sold, with more than 85,000 changing hands via NVM members. That is a 4.1% decrease compared with one year ago. Prices continue to be pushed downwards: the average selling price of a home is now 207,000 euros, 6.7% less than twelve months before. Since the credit crisis, house prices have fallen by an average of 15.9%. These are the findings of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars (Dutch Association of Real Estate Brokers and Real Estate Experts or NVM) in its analysis of the housing market for the fourth quarter of 2012, which is being presented today.

The introduction of the new mortgage rules from 1 January 2013 persuaded many people to buy a home during the final quarter of 2012. They were seeking to benefit from the favourable rules and the lower housing costs associated with the previous situation. From 1 January, mortgages must be repaid within 30 years in order to qualify for mortgage interest relief, whereas previously no capital repayments were required on 50% of the borrowed sum. It was primarily first-time buyers who bought a home during the last quarter, in order to be able to benefit from the favourable tax arrangements under the old system.

Click here to read the synthesis report (in English) or the full report (in Dutch)