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'Demand for housing is expected to increase steadily'

Stef Blok

‘Demand for housing is expected to increase steadily’, says Stef Blok, Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector. ‘This increase is driven by fundamental demographic changes, e.g. strong population growth and an increasing number of single-person households’.

Mr. Blok notes increasing interest from foreign investors in the Dutch housing market. ‘These investors want to invest in the different segments of the market, including the mortgage and regulated/non-regulated rental markets’.

According to Mr. Blok, the interest in the mortgage market can be explained by its stable growth and low risk profile. ‘Dutch consumers have a strong payment ethic. From an international perspective, the number of defaults and foreclosures is low. The government has implemented several reforms, including the obligation to fully repay your mortgage in 30 years. This has further improved the fundamentals and transparency of the market, resulting in increased interest from investors. Recently, various foreign mortgage providers have entered the Dutch mortgage market. This is good news, since it increases competition among mortgage providers, which will benefit consumers’.

The rental market also offers good opportunities for investors. ‘Dutch housing assets are liquid and the rental markets offer investors stable, inflation-indexed returns. Government policy reforms have restricted the possibilities for social housing associations to invest in the non-regulated market. The aim is to focus the associations on their core business: providing affordable and basic homes for low-income households. This has led to increased interest in the regulated rental market from investors. Recently, foreign investors have bought housing stock from social housing associations, thereby gaining a foothold in the Dutch housing market. I welcome these developments. I also note an increasing interest from foreign investors in non-regulated housing, offering housing with rents between 710 and 1000 Euros. Demographic and economic trends would indicate substantial growth possibilities in this historically small subset of the rental market’.

The website has just been launched. Mr. Blok explains what this website has to offer. ‘Just as in in every country, the Dutch mortgage and rental markets have their own specific and unique characteristics. It is difficult for investors to find practical and useful information allowing for a full understanding of the market and identifying investor opportunities. Information is often scattered among different websites and it is difficult to judge whether online information is trustworthy. With the website, I want to ensure that investors can find their way in the Dutch housing market. The website acts as a platform where you can find information about the latest developments and trends. The knowledge base contains information about the different segments of the housing market and the mortgage market. We also invite investors to give feedback and provide us with ideas for relevant content’.