Housing Market Monitor – Next government’s plans still guesswork

by: Philip Bokeloh

  • House sales and prices continue to rise
  • Dip in confidence indicators signals slowdown
  • Divergent housing market plans of coalition candidates
170412-Housing-Market-Monitor-April.pdf (725 KB)

The housing market is on a roll. The transaction volume has accelerated to 222,000 annualised, an all-time record high. The boom is also more broadly based than before. Initially, Noord-Holland and Utrecht were the main drivers, but other provinces are now catching up. House prices are also on the rise. In February, prices were 6.7% higher than a year ago. Thanks to the sustained upward momentum, prices are now 15% higher than at their low point in 2013.

The strong sales momentum is causing contraction of supply, so buyers have less choice. And with houses changing hands faster, they also have less time to decide. The buyer’s market seems to be making way for a seller’s market. Added to this, the chances of mortgage rates turning the corner and rising again are growing. Tight supply, combined with the prospect of higher interest rates, is tempering sentiment in the housing market. The indicator of the Dutch Homeowners’ Association (VEH) has flagged somewhat in recent months, but remains high.

The most recent housing market data are a bit better than thought, but not enough to upgrade our forecasts just yet. Transactions and prices are heading for a 5% rise this year. We now eagerly await the next government’s plans. The housing market was not a big issue during the elections. However, analysis of the various coalition candidates’ plans for the housing market reveals that quite a few differences need to be bridged.