‘Due to high property prices and rising mortgage interest rates, the monthly costs for financing owner-occupied homes have been increasing sharply, especially for first-time buyers. This makes it more difficult for those parties to find affordable housing’, according to a statement by the cabinet in the Miljoenennota (Budget Memorandum).
‘In addition, the scarcity and increased property prices are causing higher rents in the free rental sector, which increases the housing costs of tenants relative to income, and impairs the flow of social renters to the free rental sector. There are also fewer rental properties available for people with a median income. The consequences are particularly significant for households with a lower (median) income, for whom housing costs account for a relatively large share of their total expenditure.’
Here are the most notable measures that will affect home owners and buyers:
Measures to combat the housing shortage
The government also wants to tackle the structural cause of the housing shortage. A considerable amount had already been disclosed on this matter. These are the main points of the budget documents:
- The government is taking back control of public housing and spatial planning. The Nationale Woon- en Bouwagenda (National Housing and Building Agenda) states that around 900,000 new homes are to be built by 2030. Together with provinces, municipalities, housing corporations and the construction sector, the government wants to realise this ambition, including the related infrastructure and transport options.
- Affordable housing is in high demand, but construction efforts in that regard are lagging behind. The government will therefore release € 100 million for the Woningbouwimpuls (Housing Impulse) starting in 2023, for 10 years. This extra money will be allotted to municipalities to get new homes built faster for many different target groups. In 2022, € 250 million was already allocated for this purpose. For investments in affordable housing almost € 11 billion has been made available.
- In 2023, 15,000 so-called flex and transformation homes are scheduled to be built. Flex homes are fully-fledged homes that are prefabricated in factories. As a result, they can be constructed relatively quickly. An additional € 380 million is available to accelerate temporary housing.
- The Netherlands central government Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (Central Government Real Estate Agency) is converting existing buildings, such as vacant offices and healthcare real estate, into temporary homes for local emergency accommodation seekers, such as residence permit holders and refugees from Ukraine.
- From 1 January 2023, the Biedlogboek (Bidding Log) will become mandatory for all estate agents, which should make the buying process fairer.
Status of measures
It is important to remember that everything that has been incorporated in the Budget Memorandum and the appendices are plans for the future. These plans have yet to be discussed in the House of Representatives and the Senate and – whether amended or not – approved before they can be converted into legislation. This discussion is called the ‘Algemene Politieke Beschouwingen’ (General Political Considerations). The entire process as it is completed every year is explained briefly on the website of the House of Representatives (Dutch language).
The following sources have been used for this blog, and offer a good starting point for readers looking to delve further into the matter:
• Belastingplan 2023 (2023 Tax plan)
• Miljoenennota 2023 (2023 Budget memorandum)