Dutch govt inadvertently caused shortage in new housing: construction assoc.
The departing Dutch government's policies inadvertently caused the current shortage in new housing facing the Netherlands, according to the NVB association for developers and construction. The association is calling for the new government to appoint a "strong minister for housing and building" who, when taking measures, also considers the consequences for the construction sector, ANP reports.
"We must learn from past mistakes", NVB director Nico Rietdijk said, according to the news wire. "[Housing Minister Stef] Blok had the task of implementing the government policy. He did that well, politically seen, but it was not always equally lucky." Rietdijk was referring to measures the government took to curb the effects of the credit crisis. For example, the reduction of the maximum mortgage limit was necessary for the banking sector, but worked as an "extra hand brake" on the construction sector, he said.
In the construction sector, both construction companies and suppliers had to scale back, because 80 percent of their sales disappeared at the deep point of the crisis. "We are now reaping the awful rewards in the form of an imploding housing market and exploding prices." Rietdijk said.
According to the NVB, the Netherlands needs about 80 thousand new homes every year. The Randstad area in particular is struggling with a housing shortage. "But last year we did not go far beyond 50 thousand. There is real work in store", Rietdijk said, according to ANP. "The sector is simply unable to meet the new housing demand. A little help from the government can't hurt."