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Realtors claim that construction delays are having an impact on the whole housing market

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    Wednesday, 13 September 2023 - 12:00

    The slowdown in housing construction and various government plans are bringing the housing market to a standstill, realtors’ association NVM told De Telegraaf.

    A newly built home often sets a chain of relocations in motion in the housing market, Lana Gerssen of the NVM explained. “For example, the buyers sell their semi-detached house to people in a terraced house, who then sell to someone in a gallery flat. A healthy new construction market creates dynamism in the existing market.”

    Housing market consultant Capital Value expects permits for housing construction to drop to 55,000 this year - half of what is needed to close the housing shortage. Due to increased costs, consumers find new construction too expensive.

    The current extreme tightness in the private rental market also plays a role, Chris van Zantwijk of the NVM told the newspaper. “That also hinders new construction. Because there are two years between the signing of the contract and the key transfer. In the current uncertain market, buyers want to quickly sell their own home and then rent, but that is now very difficult.”

    The tightness in the private rental market is partly due to Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge’s plans to regulate mid-segment rentals and ban temporary rent contracts, the NVM said. The realtors’ group also referred to a quadrupling of the transfer tax and an increase in property tax affecting small landlords. These plans have driven investors out of new constructions and pushed private landlords to sell their properties. Van Zantwijk expects that the ban on temporary rent contracts will have many homeowners leaving potential short-term rental properties empty.

    “There is always the temptation to take sympathetic measures, but these do have unsympathetic side effects,” Van Zantwijk said. “On the one hand, you help someone. On the other hand, you sometimes create more victims.”

    The only solution to the current situation in the housing market is to build more homes, the NVM pointed out. The association is often surprised that the government combines its ambitious construction plans with radical measures that scare away residential investors. Van Zantwijk mentioned De Jonge’s policy that two-thirds of housing construction projects must be for affordable homes. “With high-rise buildings, that cancels the entire project. With low-rise buildings, you can start with a smaller part. Ultimately, the deficit in affordable homes must be recouped in more expensive ones. I have experienced a municipality saying: Then you make it 100,000 euros more expensive.”


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