First Dutch cities plan to block investors from snatching up homes
Rotterdam, Eindhoven, The Hague and Haarlem are expected to be the first major Dutch cities to ban investors from buying up rental homes in the near future, FD reported. The four cities could ban investors from snatching up homes in certain neighborhoods by early next year.
The cities can designate neighborhoods in which investors may no longer buy up cheap or medium-rent properties with the intention of renting them out. With such measures, cities want to intervene in the housing market over the next five years. The ban should counteract the current shortage and high prices on the housing market.
According to the newspaper, there is a lot of enthusiasm among municipal administrators for such a step to be taken. The seven largest municipalities want to introduce such a ban if the Senate approves the initiative later this year. More municipalities, including Leeuwarden, Groningen and Zaanstad are also interested.
Investors and the Dutch Central Bank were critical of the proposal. According to the DNB, it is not certain if the rental prices in the free sector would suddenly decrease as a result of it.
Peter Boelhouwer, a TU Delft housing market professor, also doubted if such a measure can solve the housing shortage. "You're not adding any extra homes with that," he said to NOS Radio 1 News.
"But for the first-time buyers, it means that they get a few more opportunities. They often fish behind the net when investors start buying," he said.
According to Boelhouwer, the measure is primarily intended to maintain the quality of life. He explained that the comfort of living in many places is currently damaged due to overbuying. "Some of the people who buy up houses rent them out to students or migrant workers. These homes become 'disguised' and more people end up in them than normal," he explained.
The feasibility of the measure will pose few problems, Boelhouwer concluded.