Rabobank: Housing market continues to grow in 2015 and 2016

The Dutch housing market is continuing its trend of growth. Following a better than expected first quarter, the market will continue to pick up in 2015 and 2016. Prices are expected to rise slightly, by 1½ to 3½% in 2015 compared to 2014. A gentle acceleration is expected in 2016 with an average price rise of between 2 and 4%. Around 160,000 to 180,000 homes are expected to change ownership during the course of 2015 as a whole and this number will rise further in 2016 to between 165,000 and 185,000. These are the views of the Rabobank economists in their Dutch Housing Market Quarterly published today.

'Things are appreciably improving in the Dutch economy, which began strongly this year', explains Rabobank's housing market economist Pieter van Dalen. 'The improving employment situation and rising levels of disposable household income are good news for the housing market. The low mortgage rates and high levels of consumer confidence are also reasons why we expect further growth.'

Even so, according to Van Dalen there are also factors that will damp down any excessive growth on the Dutch market for owner-occupied houses. 'Stimulus measures, such as the gift tax exemption, have been limited and the lending cretirea are stricter than before. But these negative factors are not as strong as the positive factors, so we do expect the housing market to show ongoing modest growth this year and into next year.'

Although there are considerable regional differences in the Netherlands, the Rabobank economist is seeing all provinces benefiting from the growth in the housing market. Van Dalen adds: 'That is mainly because there is no regional variation in mortgage rates. What's more, income trends and confidence in the economy do not vary significantly from region to region. However, we are seeing above-average price rises in the provinces of Noord-Holland and Utrecht, with the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht playing a major role.'

Rabobank expects total mortgage debt to rise again slightly from 2015 thanks to a rise in the number of new mortgage approvals.

You can read the Dutch Housing Market Quarterly on: www.rabobank.com/economics.

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