Cities shun investors forcing property buyers to live in owned homes
A growing number of municipalities in the Netherlands are obliging buyers to live in the home they bought, in an effort to keep home prices affordable by making rentals impossible and thereby pushing investors out of the housing market. A group of almost 20 municipalities introduced this so-called self-occupancy obligation in the past year and more are considering it, Financieele Dagblad reports based on its own research.
Many municipalities already made use of the anti-speculation clause, which prohibits the rapid resale of owner-occupied homes. Student cities like Groningen, The Hague, and Leiden restricted turning homes into single rooms to rent. The self-occupancy obligation is the newest measure to keep owner-occupied homes on the market at a reasonable price.
A total of 18 municipalities recently implemented this obligation, ranging from large cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht to smaller municipalities like Bernheze, Nieuwkkoop and Bergeijk. A handful of other places like Wijchen and Barneveld are considering the measure. And municipal councils in Brielle and Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, among others, have instructed their mayor and aldermen to look into it, according to the newspaper.
The way in which this measure is implemented differs. In Zwolle, for example, it applies to all newly built homes for a period of five years. Other municipalities are focused on specific parts of the market. Nuenen is introducing the self-occupancy obligation on homes under 200 thousand euros, Teylingen on homes up to 250 thousand euros, and Haarlem in homes up to 383,358 euros.
"With the self-occupancy obligation, we want to give starters and people with a lower or middle income more opportunities on the housing market," a spokesperson fo the municipality of Teylingen said to the newspaper.