Housing in the Netherlands
What's going on in 2017Dutch economy improvement continued in 2016: the GDP grew by 2.1% compared to 2015, while unemployment fell last year from 6.9 to 6.0%.
Investment in homes also rose sharply, by 7.1%. In 2017 the economy is expected to grow by 1.8%. Driven by this growing economy, low mortgage rates and high levels of consumer confidence, a record 214,793 homes were sold in 2016, well over 20% more than in 2015. The house price index (Prijsindex Bestaande Koopwoningen – PBK) rose by an average of 5% last year. For the coming year, we expect the number of sales to rise slightly to 220,000-230,000 transactions, while assuming the average price continutes to go up with roughly 5%. Political and economic developments in the Netherlands and abroad may well interfere with these estimates.
MortgageMortgage rates fall further in 2017 and will remain low for the time being. 1-2%
In generalThe Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with 400 people per square kilometre. The Netherlands has little available space, houses at the lower and middle end of the market tend to be fairly compact out of necessity. How you see this depends on your experience in your home country. Most Europeans claim that housing is expensive and the gardens small. Americans used to the spacious properties frequently found in their home country also feel that the rooms themselves are small (particularly children's bedrooms). They are more likely to require the more luxurious end of the market in terms of decoration, fixtures and fittings. Those coming from places such as Singapore however, where land is also at a premium, may see things differently. Wherever you come from, it is essential to realise that the housing available will probably not be the same as you are used to!
Housing stock in across the Netherlands varies from studio apartments (a single room including sleeping area, living area and cooking facilities) and more traditional apartments with multiple, separate bedrooms, to larger houses (detached, semi-detached, or terraced).