Find out all you need to know about the housing market in the Netherlands, if it’s a good idea to buy a Dutch house and how hard (or easy?!) it is to get a mortgage in the Netherlands in 2020.
So you moved to the Netherlands; welcome! Or thinking about moving to the Netherlands? Do it! The economy is booming, the tulip fields are almost blooming. But then there’s the issue of whether to rent or buy a house in the Netherlands, and we can tell you that renting a place here is hard, very hard sometimes.
You might be thinking about buying a house in the Netherlands as an expat, even throwing yourself in the vortex that’s getting a mortgage in the Netherlands as an expat. Those are all life choices that you’ve ultimately got to decide for yourself. But what we can help you with is explaining the housing market in the Netherlands in 2020!
We teamed up with Expat Mortgages (and you should too!)
You don’t want to fiddle around when it comes to life-changing decisions like buying a house in the Netherlands or getting a Dutch mortgage. Neither did we, so we teamed up with the good people from Expat Mortgages.
They really were helpful for this article because Expat Mortgages has mortgage advisors throughout the whole country which really comes in handy if you’re writing about the housing market in the Netherlands. (So a big shout out to Stephania Ammerlaan from Expat Mortgages who helped us out this time, she really knows her stuff in the Leiden region!).
Naturally, Expat Mortgages can help you to get a mortgage here in a way you internationals can understand. You know – in English. Along with all the specific information and help you need. Time to get stuck in and talk about the housing market in the Netherlands in 2020!
The housing market in the Netherlands in 2020
The housing market in the Netherlands is hot! Not gonna lie about it, buying a house and the subsequent process of getting a mortgage in the Netherlands, is something which comes with some pressure. But that pressure is getting a bit less intense, fortunately!
For 2020, house prices are expected to rise slightly, or stabilise, depending on whose prediction you pay attention to. House prices will likely continue to rise in the Randstad, but perhaps less than before, as people move out in search of cheaper properties. In 2019, house prices rose by 6%, which was 2% less than the year before.
Once you get an offer accepted, speed is also key when it comes to getting that all important Dutch mortgage. So what’s new when it comes to getting a mortgage in the Netherlands in 2020?
Getting a mortgage in the Netherlands as an expat in 2020
A couple of things stand out for 2020 and surely you don’t want me to explain the whole process of landing a mortgage in the Netherlands to you. Let’s start on a positive note, while buying a house might be hard sometimes, getting a mortgage in the Netherlands as an expat actually got easier.
The interest rates are historically low and more and more banks in the Netherlands are willing to loan money to expats and it is a relatively fast and easy procedure. Nowadays you can borrow 100% of the value of the house and you will need to provide around 5% for all the other costs yourself related to the purchase.
Your monthly installments will depend on the interest rate, the type of mortgage you have and the period you took the loan out for. However, if you choose to make a down payment and take less than 100% then you can significantly reduce your monthly costs. These are all things you can discuss with your mortgage advisor and he or she can help you choose the best option for you.
But not all you internationals have a straightforward case when it comes to getting a mortgage in the Netherlands and for some, the situation is more complicated. For example income from abroad, one partner is a freelancer, living between two countries, etc. A lot of time there’s still something possible, but it’s best to have a chat with a mortgage advisor about all these things.
Pro-tip: WOZ value and how this may help you get a better interest rate
The WOZ-value is another term for property valuations. The value of a property is determined by a municipality; it’s called a WOZ declaration. Don’t worry, the ‘gemeente’ isn’t coming to your home, all houses in the neighborhood get roughly the same calculation.
This value is then used by the municipality to calculate all kind taxes and thus, the higher the WOZ value, the higher the taxes you pay. And WOZ values are rising, so you’re wondering by now why the hell I’m bringing this up?
Well, if you’re a mortgage owner in the Netherlands already, and your WOZ value is on the up-n-up then the risk for your mortgage-lender is going down. And that means, get ready for the good part, that your interest rate is going down. (Which means fewer costs per month!)
The Expat Mortgages team also have a dedicated person who can look into your individual situation and advice for free if you can obtain better conditions for your existing mortgage. (For more information you can contact Selina van Beek)
What kind of house should one buy in the Netherlands?
An always important factor for deciding on buying a house is what kind of house you’re going to buy in the Netherlands. First and foremost, it’s a matter of taste. But besides that, we can at least talk about some other factors. Here are three things to know when it comes to the type of house and the housing market in the Netherlands:
Housing market in the Netherlands: The price of newly built homes is going up (fast!)
New Dutch homes are becoming more expensive at a furious pace. In the third quarter of last year, the price of new-build homes that were sold was no less than 17 percent higher than a year earlier, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics. Existing homes were on average ‘only’ 9.2 percent more expensive.
A part of this price increase is due to the ‘energy transition’ which is also a good thing since those houses will have energy bills that will cost less on a monthly basis.
Housing market in the Netherlands: Those nice 1930’s houses in the Netherlands
So you might have been driving through a more classical Dutch neighborhood and decided that you wanted to buy one of these houses:
Nicely chosen then, you’ve got some good taste. However, you’re not alone as these 1930’s built houses are always popular and therefore quite expensive. Again, there’s an upside to this as well, as the quality of these classic Dutch houses is quite good (the energy bill can be quite hefty). Feel welcome to contact Expat Mortgages to assist you in helping you find that perfect house for you, they’ll know where to find these 30’s beauties.
The housing market in the Netherlands: That old canal house or a typical Dutch houseboat?
Perhaps living in a canal house from the Golden age era or in of those cute houseboats is your #lifegoal. Okay, we can certainly relate, but be aware that these nice looking housing opportunities can also come with loads of repair and maintenance work. Which isn’t only a hassle, especially if you’re an international. But also significantly costs more in 2020 then it did in the years before. Plumbers and carpenters all have plenty to do and have upped their prices. Just so you know 😉
The housing market in Amsterdam in 2020! Is it still a good idea to buy a house in Amsterdam?
Ah, Amsterdam, it’s where everybody wants to buy a house but nobody seems to be able to anymore. Overbidding on the asking prices, fully packed visits whenever there’s an open house and units of 15M2 are being sold for the same price that gets you a decent house elsewhere in the Netherlands. Any good news for the housing market in Amsterdam in 2020? Well, actually, there is!
The stretched Amsterdam housing market seems to be stabilizing slightly as the advisors from Expat Mortgages have signalled over the past weeks. More expensive homes are being put up for sale again instead of being rented out (hey, it’s a start).
The prices of owner-occupied homes in Amsterdam are also still rising, but at a somewhat slower pace than before. The price of an average house in the city rose by less than one percent from 445.00 to 448,000 euros. So yeah, buying a house in Amsterdam still isn’t a cheap affair.
This all might signal a stabilization of the housing market in Amsterdam, but the market can still be characterized as ‘overheated’ though because there are simply not enough houses being offered for sale. Also, it seems to be that more houses are being sold which were previously being used to rent out. Turns out that even you fat cat expats can’t pay those 2500 euro rental prices.
For those interested in buying a house in Amsterdam, you might want to do yourself a favor and check out the Expat Housing Seminar in Amsterdam on the 6th February 2020.
Of course, the housing market in the Netherlands isn’t just Amsterdam. Also, turns out that more and more people are discovering other nice Dutch cities which aren’t that far away from Amsterdam. Such as our hometown of Leiden. So why would one buy a house in Leiden instead of Amsterdam?
The Housing market in Leiden – Should you buy a house in Leiden?
Ah, the beautiful Leiden! It has the canals, the culture and everything else one could want to seriously contemplate moving to Leiden. We’ve already extensively praised Leiden on DutchReview and rightly so. But why prefer moving to Leiden instead of Amsterdam?
Well, for one, Leiden is only 30 minutes away from Amsterdam Central Station OR Rotterdam Central Station. And The Hague is only 12 minutes away by train! So it’s conveniently centrally located in the Netherlands. It’s also one of the smartest cities in the Netherlands, since the city has both a renowned university as the presence of the bio-science park. Particularly attractive if you’re an EMA employee and you’re thinking about buying a house in the Netherlands but not in Amsterdam.
The Housing Market in Leiden
Buying a house in Leiden might be cheaper than Amsterdam, it’s not all perfect. The housing market in Leiden is also a bit overstretched and prices are also on the rise for years. But if you’ve got a realtor and mortgage adviser who know what they’re doing, you can still buy a beautiful home in Leiden with a garden for the same price that gets you a small Amsterdam apartment.
If you’re interested in buying a house in Leiden, but don’t know where to start, then it’s really a good idea to visit the an Expat Housing Seminar (you can find upcoming dates here). The top-of-the-line mortgage advisors from Expat Mortgages will happily tell you all about the ins-and-outs of buying a house in the Netherlands or the housing market in Leiden. It’s for free, no strings attached, they’ll even serve you drinks and if you’re not from Leiden than it’s the perfect opportunity to visit the city before the seminar starts and check out if you really want to live in Leiden (spoilers: you will!).
The future of the Dutch housing market
So the prices of houses in the Netherlands are rising, but how long will that last? And will these prices then fall? Well, experts are saying that it’s actually likely that prices will at least be stable and very likely continue to go up in the coming years.
The main reason for this is just that buildings don’t go up as fast as the demand for houses. Building is a complex process in the Netherlands and getting permits and all that takes a long time. Thus the prices will continue to be stable and rise a bit and thus, combined with the interest rate development and general economic predictions in the Netherlands – it’s still a good decision to buy a house now and not wait too long to buy a house in the Netherlands.
But to get a proper forecast and analyses of the area you might be interested in when it comes to buying a house in the Netherlands, you might want to talk to a mortgage advisor who knows the Netherlands and your expat needs…
Get on board with Expat Mortgages to help you get that Dutch mortgage
As an expat you will need some help to secure a mortgage here and this process is already tough for a Dutchie and it’s a life-defining moment. So get help, and who better to ask than Expat Mortgages who already have 12 years of experience in the mortgages advisory business and have helped thousands of expats from different nationalities. As you can see they know their stuff:
Since they only work with expats and internationals (Dutchies have been asking them for help too, but no dice!) they really know their stuff when it comes to all the specific details and peculiarities that come into play when it’s a foreign person trying to get a mortgage in the Netherlands.
And it’s not only knowledge and advice for getting a mortgage in the Netherlands in general. This is a big club with advisors throughout the country! So whether you’re interested in buying a house in Leiden or Amsterdam; Expat Mortgages has the right person to advise you on all the ins-and-outs of it.
Want to get in touch for an offline appointment? Well, they can meet you for a no-strings-attached meeting in which you can ask everything about the mortgage possibilities. Or just drop by at one of their events, also conveniently held throughout the country!
Are you thinking of buying a house in the Netherlands? What are your questions and thought about the housing market in the Netherlands in 2020? Let us know in the comments!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 27 February 2019, but was thoroughly updated for your reading pleasure on 30 January 2020.
Feature image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied.