Housing market is 'in balance'
7 April 2006 , AMSTERDAM – The price of an average house was EUR 228,000 during the first quarter of 2006, an increase of 0.7 percent compared to the last quarter of 2005.
7 April 2006
AMSTERDAM – The price of an average house was EUR 228,000 during the first quarter of 2006, an increase of 0.7 percent compared to the last quarter of 2005.
Noting this is an increase of 4.7 percent on the first quarter of last year, real estate association NVM vice-chairman Wim van Kampen said on Friday the latest numbers show a "balanced housing market".
Although the market for houses seems calm, this doesn't exclude the risk that prices may rise sharply this year. The first quarter of a year usually never shows much movement on the house market.
"We stick to the forecasts we made in the beginning of this year," Van Kampen said.
The NVM expects house prices will rise this year by a total of 6 percent, but the estate agents don't exclude another large increase in prices.
One of the reasons for the uncertainty is that the supply of houses is slowly dwindling. Fewer houses have been put up for sale, while the number of sold houses has risen by 9 percent.
Van Kampen thinks the slow price development in the first months of 2006 is also due to rising mortgage interest and the new discussion about a decrease in mortgage tax relief.
"I think the discussion makes consumers far less interested in buying a new house," Van Kampen said. The NVM has always said that a possible limiting of the mortgage tax relief can not occur in isolation.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news