Economic Research Department: Rise in Dutch house prices and sales to continue in 2015

The number of homes sold in the Netherlands in 2015 is expected to reach between 150,000 and 170,000. Home sales in 2014 amounted to 153,511. House prices are expected to rise by 1 to 3% in 2015, compared to a rise of 0.9% in 2014. This is the view of the Rabobank economists presented in their Dutch Housing Market Quarterly published today.

The recovery of the Dutch owner-occupied housing market gathered pace in the fourth quarter of 2014. The number of homes sold rose substantially during that period. Adjusted for seasonal effects, no less than 20% more homes were sold than in the third quarter of 2014. Housing Market Economist Pieter van Dalen: ‘This was above all due to many households still wanting to take advantage of the temporary relaxation of exemptions from gift tax. This is because this scheme expired at the end of the year, leading many buyers to bring forward their house purchase plans.’

Modest growth

While the Rabobank economist anticipates that this will cause the number of transactions to fall back in the first quarter of this year, the housing market will indeed grow further over 2015 as a whole, albeit more slowly than last year. ‘In 2014 it was a clear picture of catch-up growth, following 2013 when the housing market had reached its lowest point. Growth this year will be somewhat more modest,’ according to Van Dalen.

Positive developments will outweigh negative factors

Dalen expects that the positive economic factors such as further economic recovery, high consumer confidence, lower mortgage interest rates and the substantial number of new homes sold will be strong enough to support this growth. Van Dalen: ‘These developments are expected to have a greater effect than the negative factors, such as ending or scaling back stimulus measures, the negative equity problem and credit-restricting measures.’

The complete version of the Dutch Housing Market Quarterly is available at the Economic Research website.