Housing Market in Netherlands

From the IMF’s latest report on Netherlands:

“Real estate markets call for heightened vigilance and the pursuit of policies to address near-term risks and long-term challenges confronting residential and commercial properties. Prices – and valuations – for housing have continued to soar during the pandemic (see chart), reflecting longstanding supply bottlenecks, low interest rates, and the favorable tax treatment of owner-occupied housing. Existing vulnerabilities have been exacerbated by a further rise in already elevated levels of mortgage debt, with some households exceedingly stretching their debt servicing capacity. Consequently, the activation of floors for risk weights applied to mortgage lending from 2022 is welcome and may be complemented by measures such as an additional reduction in eligible loan-to-value ratios, and reviewing the taxation of owner-occupied housing. In addition, efforts to improve the elasticity of the housing supply appear warranted, as structural rigidities, such as distorted planning incentives and restrictive building or zoning laws, maintain imbalances. Such policies will also support macroeconomic stability by lessening households’ exposure to house-price fluctuations, which can significantly affect consumer spending.

Vacancy rates for commercial properties have increased due to the recession yet with little effect on prices as investment yields have stayed attractive in relation to other assets. With banks maintaining comparatively large exposures, valuation has become a concern, especially since long-term structural change may prevent the full recovery of some property segments. The authorities should contemplate options to better steer the investment cycle of commercial real estate to avoid a build-up of financial stability risks, potentially modelled on policies in place for owner-occupied dwellings. Furthermore, incentivizing climate-friendly modernization or the rededication of obsolete structures should help preserve the value of existing buildings.”

Posted by at 11:30 AM

Labels: Global Housing Watch


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