Housing prices up 20 pct in Amsterdam, 5.5 pct nationwide
The Netherlands' housing market is keeping up its strong recovery in what real estate agents association NVM calls a "slightly surprising" manner. Home prices are up 5.5 percent nationwide. Amsterdam even saw a 20 percent increase, according to NVM's figures for the first 3 months of this year, NOS reports. Nearly 35 thousand houses changed ownership in the first quarter, 20 percent more than a year ago. The average transaction price for a house is 225 thousand euros, 5.5 percent higher than last year, but still 9 percent below the level before the 2008 crisis. NVM expected that the housing market recovery will level out after an excellent year in 2015, so these results are somewhat surprising. The association does warn that there are still large disparities in the housing markets in different regions. The markets in the Amsterdam-Utrecht-Leiden triangle and the city of Groningen are overheating, while other regions are struggling. In Amsterdam housing price skyrocketed by 20 percent, while the number of sales fell by 2 percent. "The market is literally boiling dry", according to NVM. While in regions including Zuid-Limburg, the head of Noord-Holland, Texel and northwest Groningen, house prices are falling.