Is now the time to buy a house in the Netherlands? Here’s what the mortgage experts say

Is 2024 the year to become a homeowner? 🏡

Powered byExpat Mortgages

Times are turbulent, so it’s understandable if you find yourself unsure of whether or not to buy a house in the Netherlands right now. We found ourselves humming and hawing as well. 

So we decided to turn to the experts!  

We sat down with Expat Mortgage’s Fred van Maanen to discuss everything from hectic housing bids to student debt before posing the all-important question: is now the time to buy a house in the Netherlands?

Here’s what we found out.

House prices aren’t as high as last year

Looking to plant roots in the Netherlands? This might be your time. Image: Freepik

While it might feel like the cost of everything has risen by about 70%, this isn’t the case for house prices in the Netherlands.

One thing to consider when trying to decide whether or not to buy a house in the Netherlands is the fact that, while house prices are on the increase again, at the moment, they are lower in some regions than they were last year. 

READ MORE | 7 Dutch cities to move to right now (recommended by mortgage experts)

“According to a recent report by ABN AMRO, house prices are actually 4.3% lower compared to July 2022,” Fred tells us. 

Surprisingly, this drop in price is mostly seen for homes in the Netherlands’ largest cities, such as The Hague and the greater Amsterdam area. 

So there’s no need to imagine yourself adjusting to life in a homestead somewhere in Friesland.  

Singles can borrow extra money

All you need is yourself! Image: Freepik

The days of scouring Tinder for someone to buy a house with are gone. 

From 2024, singles with an income of at least €28,000 per year will be able to borrow an additional €16,000 towards the purchase of their home. 

The Dutch government has done this to encourage singles to get on the property ladder. You heard ‘em, forget what Hugo De Jonge says: You don’t need a man to own a home.  

READ MORE | Your borrowing power for a mortgage in the Netherlands in 2024

Curious about your chances of getting a Dutch mortgage? You can calculate your borrowing power using this tool! A mortgage advisor from Expat Mortgages is also happy to sit down with you for free to discuss the possibilities.

The ongoing Dutch housing shortage is unlikely to improve

One reason to buy a home in the Netherlands right now is simply to get your foot in the door! Image: Freepik

Another reason why Fred says internationals should consider buying a house now is that there simply may not be enough houses left if you wait too long.

Due to a series of unfortunate events (the fall of the Dutch government, increased costs for materials, and increased land prices), the construction of new houses in the Netherlands has been significantly delayed. 

And what exactly does that mean? According to Fred, “We are currently experiencing a shortage of 390,000 houses in the Netherlands.”

READ MORE | Why is there a housing shortage in the Netherlands? The Dutch housing crisis explained

The result? People are entering into bidding wars, ultimately hiking up the selling prices of homes. “We see that overbidding is taking place more often,” he says.

Fred tells us a particularly spooky story about a house for sale in Jordaan, Amsterdam, where people overbid by 20%.

“The buying agent was flabbergasted,” Fred tells us. And it’s not just Amsterdam. “I can see it more often in Haarlem and Leiden too.”  

“The Dutch housing market is turning towards being a seller’s market again, so you have to act fast.”

With supply dwindling and demand only growing, Fred’s advice is simple: if you can get your foot in the door before it closes, lace up your steel-toed boots and do it.

Your student debt still has an effect on your borrowing power

Your student debt will always be taken into account when calculating your borrowing power. Image: Freepik

Got student debt? Then you need to consider how it will impact your borrowing power before you buy a house. Fred recommends that you try to reduce it as much as you can before meeting with a mortgage advisor. 

This is because, in Fred’s own words, your mortgage advisor will “always take it into account when calculating your borrowing power — because ultimately that money will leave your wallet.” 

READ MORE | Which experts can save you money when buying a house in the Netherlands?

You may be thinking, but hey, hasn’t it been announced that the impact of Dutch student loans on Dutch mortgages will be reduced — yes, but not in the way you may think. 

As of 2024, only your current student debt will be taken into account when calculating your borrowing power. Before, this was the initial student debt.

What’s important to take away from this, however, is that your student loans will still play a role in determining your borrowing power. They won’t be forgotten.  

What about international student loans? Fred said the same goes for these. Regardless of whether you have student debt in the Netherlands or in Spain, your mortgage advisor will always take your student debt into account.

As Fred says, “any debt, loan, credit line and private lease will be considered.”

So, is now the time to buy a house in the Netherlands? That depends on your debt! 

You can currently benefit from multiple sustainable subsidies 

Do you want to make sustainable changes to a home? Then 2024 is the year to buy one! Image: Freepik

If there’s anything the Netherlands loves, it’s making sustainable changes (at least for now, *looks towards Geert Wilders*). 

That’s why you will actually be financially rewarded if you agree to buy and make sustainable changes to a home. 

In the Netherlands, you can currently get a mortgage for 106% of the value of the home if you want to make sustainable changes to it. 

From January 1 2024, you will also be able to borrow more based on the home’s energy label. 

READ MORE | What is the Dutch National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG)?

For example, those looking to mortgage a home with an energy label of C or D may be able to borrow €5,000 extra, and those looking at zero-metre homes? Up to a whopping €50,000 extra. 

However, it’s not just the houses with higher energy labels that will benefit. 

From 2024, those looking to buy houses with a lower energy label (E, F or G) will be able to borrow more in order to finance sustainable renovations. This amount can vary between €10,000 and €20,000. 

Fun fact, Expat Mortgages offers a mortgage calculator and a completely free consultation to anyone who would like to know more about their mortgage options. Schedule an appointment and start your journey. 

It’s easier to qualify for the NHG

In 2024, it will be easier to qualify for the NHG. Image: Freepik

Another reason why now might be the time to buy a home in the Netherlands is that the NHG maximum is about to become higher. 

The Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (NHG) translates to the National Mortgage Guarantee. 

The NHG is a guarantee on your mortgage that’s available in the Netherlands. It offers protection against any remaining debt if you can’t pay your mortgage due to involuntary unemployment, divorce, or inability to work.

Usually, you can only buy homes under a certain price in order to benefit from the NHG. However, in 2024, this limit has been raised to €435,000. This means many more hopeful homeowners will be able to benefit from the NHG.

Fun fact! Planning on taking energy-saving measures? Then the NHG maximum is raised to €461,100.

Verdict: Should you buy a house in the Netherlands in 2024?

Is 2024 the year to become a homeowner? Here’s the expert’s verdict. Image: Freepik

So, what’s the verdict? Should internationals buy a house in the Netherlands in 2024? According to Fred, the answer is to look at your (you, the reader’s) current position.

“What are you paying in rent? Is it better to buy? How much debt are you in? Run the numbers to see what’s possible, it’s good to get informed about your potential to buy a house.” 

You may be pleasantly surprised! Fred is quick to point out that “the position of international clients is currently good.” As an international, you are likely a skilled worker with a high income.

This is in part thanks to the 30% ruling, “this gives you five years of extra income to spend,” Fred says, which greatly improves your borrowing power — and as a result, your chances of becoming a homeowner in the Netherlands. 

Don’t benefit from the 30% ruling? Your chances of becoming a homeowner are still improving. 

READ MORE | 7 ways buying a house in the Netherlands could save you money (wait what?)

According to ABN AMRO’s January 2024 report, another positive thing to note is that inflation is dropping while people’s wages are finally rising — which, in simple terms, bodes well for us.

So, have you crunched the numbers? Is your current position more favourable, or is it time for you to contact a mortgage broker? 

Expat Mortgages are happy to sit down with you and figure out what suits you best. Simply book a free appointment.

What do you think of the current Dutch housing market? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!  

Feature Image:Freepik
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

Liked it? Try these on for size:

What do you think?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.