Housing sales in large cities rebounded: ‘But that is short-lived’

The bank saw the largest increase in more than a year in the four major cities. In Utrecht, sales rose by 11.7 percent compared to the previous quarter. Amsterdam (+4.0 percent), Rotterdam (+6.0 percent) and The Hague (+3.3 percent) also recorded pluses.

From the second half of 2019, ING saw a downward trend in sales in Utrecht and Amsterdam and stabilization in Rotterdam and The Hague.

Vacation in your own country

At the same time, the Dutch have put their homes up for sale more often from April of this year. The corona crisis has also caused many Dutch people to holiday in their own country.

“The combination of more supply and more time to move has meant that more homes have changed hands in the summer, especially in the big cities,” says ING economist Mirjam Bani.

According to Bani, consumers are also changing their strategy, they want to sell their existing home before making a new purchase. It used to be the other way around, says the economist. But because of the corona crisis, we want to have more certainty.

This provided some relief in the tight housing market in large cities, says ING. And that is reflected in the figures.

‘Short-lived revival’

Still, the Economics Department thinks that the revival in the big cities is short-lived. The corona crisis will eventually cool down the housing market. In the first half of 2021, the bank is expected to be the first to see this reflected in a drop in the number of sales transactions. This is followed by a downward effect on prices.

Procrastination

According to ING, this is partly because consumers are postponing a move, due to uncertainty or, for example, loss of income. There is also less shortage on the housing market, because fewer migrants come to the Netherlands.

Whether the predictions will come true is still the question. Rabobank also recently expressed the expectation that house prices in the Netherlands will come under pressure next year due to the corona crisis, but later adjusted this again. The Dutch themselves are also not very concerned about the housing market.

Strongest increase in 20 years

The housing market does not seem to be concerned about the corona crisis for the time being. The prices of owner-occupied homes rose by 11.6 percent in the past quarter compared to the same quarter a year earlier. That is the strongest increase in 20 years, says real estate agency NVM.

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