Randstad housing market recovered from crisis; other areas still struggling

houe for sale/sold sign
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Ten years after the outbreak of the credit crisis, the average selling prices of existing owner-occupied homes in the Netherlands are back on the level of 2008. Though the recovery can mainly be seen in the Randstad area. Prices in the big cities are now far above the 2008 level. But in many places outside the Randstad, house prices are still lower than before the crisis, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday.

In September 2008 the American investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed - the start of the credit crisis that dropped the world into a deep recession. Both the crisis in the financial world and the subsequent economic recession in the Netherlands had a major impact on the housing market. The number of home sales declined dramatically, from over 200 thousand sold homes in 2007 to only 110 thousand at the low point in 2013. After 2013 the number of transactions started rising again. Last year almost 242 thousand hoes were sold, the highest number since 1995.

The prices of existing homes also plummeted after the outbreak of the credit crisis. In 2013 sales prices were almost 20 percent lower than in 2008. When home sales started picking up again, prices also began increasing. In 2017 home prices increased by 7.6 percent - the largest increase in the past decade. By the second quarter of this year, the average selling price reached the peak level of 2008. 

But there are strong regional differences in the level of selling prices compared to 2008. In the Randstad provinces housing prices are now higher than in 2008. In Noord-Holland home prices are now 13.7 percent higher than in 2008, in Zuid-Holland 6.2 percent, in Utrecht 7.5 percent and Flevoland 5 percent. In all other provinces, they're still under the 2008 peak. Drenthe and Friesland are the furthest from recovery, with home prices in the provinces 6.8 percent and 6.3 percent lower than in 2008 respectively.