One look in a real estate agent’s window might have you thinking that you already have the answer to the question of whether or not to buy a house in the Netherlands in 2022: no.
However, as with all things housing market related, it’s not that simple.
Let’s break down all you need to know about the housing market and buying a house in the Netherlands in 2022. 👇
The best thing you can do when facing a question like this is turn to the experts. We spoke with Kenneth over at Expat Mortgages. Kenneth and his team help internationals in the Netherlands to make the leap and buy their Dutch dream home. So, what does he have to say about 2022?
🏠 The housing market in the Netherlands in 2022
This probably isn’t surprising to hear — but the housing market in the Netherlands is hot. 🔥 However, it’s not all bad news, in fact, you could say certain things are taking a hopeful turn in the Dutch housing market in 2022.
Housing prices in the Netherlands in 2022
Let’s get right into it — the prices. As of the first quarter of 2022, the average housing price has risen by 13.7% compared to last year.
While that percentage may make your eyes water, it’s worth noting that while Dutch housing prices are higher than they were this time last year, they have actually dropped by 2.1% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the last quarter of 2021.
In fact, in 2021, housing prices experienced a rise of 20% compared to 2020. Meaning that in 2022, the speed at which house prices are rising is at least slowing down. As Onno Hoes of the NVM (the largest association of real estate agents in the Netherlands) nicely summarises:
“The housing market is still tight and the houses that are there are being sold quickly. However, a light breeze seems to be blowing through the overheated housing market.”
What is the average Dutch housing price in 2022?
So, how much can you expect to pay for a house in the Netherlands in 2022? According to the NVM, in the first quarter of 2022, the average Dutch house will set you back by €428,000.
More opportunities for current homeowners
While rising property prices may be hindering those who are looking to become homeowners, those who currently own a home can stand to benefit — and not just by putting their house up on the market.
“The rising value of your home actually makes it possible to increase your current mortgage and use this higher value (overwaarde) to renovate your home or make it more sustainable.”
More first time buyers
Aside from housing prices, the past year has also revealed some hopeful trends when it comes to who is buying houses.
In 2021, fewer investors bought up property in the Netherlands, allowing more first time buyers to secure a home instead. And why are the tides turning in this way? Put simply, transfer tax.
In the Netherlands, when you buy a house, you are charged 2% of the selling price in transfer tax. However, as of 2021, this tax has been hiked up to 8% for buyers who do not plan on living in the property — a.k.a, investors.
And so far, the results are exactly as hoped! For the first time in 10 years, the number of homes bought up by investors in the Netherlands has dropped.
In fact, it is expected that this number will continue to drop further in 2022. As of this year, municipalities can enforce purchase protection on properties, which is expected to further ward off investors.
🚴🏻♂️ The housing market in Amsterdam in 2022
We can’t talk about the Dutch housing market without lingering on Amsterdam. After all, it’s where everybody wants to buy a house but nobody seems to be able to anymore.
Housing prices in Amsterdam 2022
Amsterdam made headlines this year for being one of the most expensive cities in the EU to rent in — surprise, surprise. While this would drive many people to make the decision to ditch extortionate rent and buy a home instead, this isn’t the case.
The past year has seen fewer people buy houses in the Dutch capital, this comes down to rising house prices as well as a sense of instability. And if there was ever a theme for 2022 it’s instability — we have coronavirus and Putin to thank for this.
It seems that fewer people have the confidence (or capital) to buy a home in Amsterdam nowadays. As of the first quarter of 2022, a whopping 42.5% fewer homes were sold in Amsterdam compared to this time last year.
This equates to just 43,932 homes being sold in the capital city so far this year — and while that may sound like a lot, it’s actually the lowest number in six years!
While this means that the demand for houses in Amsterdam may be slightly less than usual, housing experts expect that this won’t lead to a drop in housing prices. After all, less demand doesn’t mean zero demand.
Kenneth also points to the silver lining in this development, explaining that “less demand can also be an opportunity. Where some people indeed have less confidence or capital, other people could gain the confidence to finally buy and use their capital to buy the home they have been searching for for so long.”
“While 2022 is indeed a year of instability (or maybe better said insecurity) if you buy a property for the long run, I still believe it’s a better alternative than renting.”
🌿 A move from the cities to the countryside
So, what happens when capital cities become less appealing to hopeful homeowners? They look towards the countryside. Last year, trends showed that coronavirus was encouraging many people to pack their belongings and move to the countryside.
And this is a trend that is continuing in 2022. While coronavirus has certainly played a role in this, another important factor has been companies’ and employees’ decisions to locate themselves outside of the Randstad. As Kenneth explains:
“One of the lessons we have learned in the last past years is that we can work remotely! In many professions, it’s not necessary to work onsite every single day and in some cases, the bigger part of our work can actually be done from home,” he says.
“This gives us the opportunity to redefine our thoughts on the daily commute because it actually isn’t a daily commute anymore! So moving further away from the city becomes more attractive, in costs but also in metres squared!”
🌎 Getting a mortgage in the Netherlands as an international in 2022
When it comes to getting a mortgage in 2022, a couple of things stand out. However, before we get into it, let’s begin by clarifying that while buying a house might be hard sometimes, it’s still possible to get a mortgage in the Netherlands as an international.
So, what should you note if you are looking to take out a Dutch mortgage in 2022?
1. Mortgage interest rates are rising once again
The Dutch housing market has been blessed with remarkably low mortgage interest rates over the past few years. However, as Nelly Furtado says — all good things come to an end.
In the first quarter of 2022, Dutch mortgage interest rates started rising once again. For example, long term mortgage interest rates have increased by as much as 1.5% since the beginning of 2022.
This is due to a number of factors such as coronavirus, the war in Ukraine, and the resulting inflation.
2. Your borrowing power will be reduced
Speaking of inflation, this is going to have an effect on your borrowing power when applying for a mortgage in 2022. When considering your borrowing power, your mortgage advisor now has to take into consideration the additional costs brought about by rising energy and food prices.
Ultimately, this means that unless you’ve received a pay rise this year, the amount of money that is advisable for you to borrow to buy a home in the Netherlands will be slightly less than it was in 2021.
That being said, Kenneth offers us some insights and sheds light on the situation. He says that internationals are not only managing to get mortgages but also expanding their possibilities with them:
“Whereas in the early years of Expat Mortgages we were mainly busy convincing banks to provide mortgages to expats in general, the last couple of years we’ve seen the range of products and possibilities for expats further expand.
For example, buying a new house and converting your current mortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage is something we’ve been arranging for our clients very often the last couple of years, and the number of banks willing to provide this service is growing as well.”
🌆 What kind of house should you buy in the Netherlands?
One important aspect of deciding to buy a house in the Netherlands is what kind of house you want. First and foremost, it’s a matter of taste. But besides that, we can at least talk about some other important factors to consider:
The price of newly built homes is going up (fast!)
With energy prices rising, many hopeful homeowners are turning their eyes toward more sustainable homes — and these are often newbuilds. As a result, in the first quarter of 2022, the average price for a new build in the Netherlands was 13.8% higher than the year before.
This makes sense when you consider the increasing demand for this housing type, the number of new builds sold rose by 21% compared to the year before!
Older houses in the Netherlands will likely cost you more
Perhaps living in a canal house from the Golden Age era or in one of those cute houseboats is your #lifegoal. And we can certainly relate — but be aware that these nice looking housing opportunities can also come with loads of repair and maintenance work.
This isn’t only a hassle (especially if you’re an international) but also costs significantly more in 2022 than it did in the years before. Plumbers and carpenters have plenty to do and have upped their prices. (Just so you know.) 😉
On top of this, with energy prices rising, an older building will likely leave you with a hefty energy bill at the end of each month.
🔮 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 be stable and continue to go up in the coming years.
The main reason for this is simple: buildings don’t rise as fast as the demand for houses. As of the beginning of 2022, there are 300,000 too few homes in the Netherlands.
That being said, the new cabinet hopes to build 100,000 new homes each year — an ambitious goal that the Central Planning Bureau doubts will materialise given the current staff shortage in the Dutch housing sector.
On top of a housing shortage, inflation rates are set to hinder hopeful homeowners in the coming year. Again, this comes down to a reduced borrowing power caused by higher monthly energy payments.
But let’s not end on a sad note. As we’ve discussed above, there are also some hopeful developments to consider: more first time buyers are managing to buy homes and the rate at which house prices are rising is slowing down.
What about the rental market in the Netherlands?
Ultimately, buying a home continues to be the winning move in the Netherlands. The rental market is following in the footsteps of the buyers market. As of 2022, it has never been so expensive to rent a house in the Netherlands.
As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the average rent rose by 5.3% in the Netherlands. Any relief that was felt last year during the coronavirus crisis has disappeared, with rents rising once again to pre-coronavirus levels.
The main difference when it comes to buying versus renting in the Netherlands at the moment is simple: in one case, your money is being invested in something you own, in the other, it’s being given to someone else — do what you may with that information.
Contact Expat Mortgages to help you secure a Dutch mortgage
Deciding to buy a house as an international in a foreign country is a big move. Thankfully, navigating the mortgage process for internationals is exactly what Expat Mortgages exists to do.
Are you thinking of buying a house in the Netherlands in 2022? Tell us your questions and thoughts in the comments below!