Utrecht also wants to block investors from buying homes just to rent them out
Utrecht plans to implement purchase protection on homes in the entire city next year. The measure is intended to prevent investors from buying cheap to medium-priced housing to rent them out. Amsterdam and The Hague already announced they'll be doing the same. Rotterdam will decide next week, NU.nl reports.
With home prices in the Netherlands increasing to new record levels almost every quarter, it is increasingly difficult for ordinary people to buy a home. The idea is that the purchase protection should help keep homes in the middle- and low-segments available for people who actually want to live there.
A change to Dutch law allows municipalities to designate neighborhoods or districts for purchase protection from January 1. If these protected homes change hands, the new owner may not rent them out for the first four years. An exception is made if the home was already a rental for at least six months before its sale. Houses may also still be rented out to family members like children, grandchildren, or siblings. Cities must justify that the measure is needed in the chosen districts.
Amsterdam announced that the measure would apply to homes worth 512,000 euros or less in the entire city. The measure will be implemented as shortly after January 1 as possible. The Hague and Utrecht haven't decided on price limits yet, but Utrecht said, "it will be as high as possible." Both cities also said they'd implement the measure as soon as they could.
The Hague city council has also been lobbying the Cabinet to set a rent limit on the entire private sector. "Only in this way will immediate action be taken on affordability, and it will become less interesting for private investors to buy homes and ask for high rents," a spokesperson for the city said to NU.nl.