Older people staying in large homes is a key factor to housing crisis: Municipalities
A main driver of the housing crisis in the Netherlands is the limited availability of smaller homes which older people can move into when their is less of a need for a larger living space, NOS reported. The larger homes would become available for younger families if it were easier for older people whose children have moved out to then make the transition to a smaller attractive home.
Senior citizens moving from a single-family home to an owner-occupied apartment designed for older people could kick-start a chain reaction that opens up the housing market, the municipality of Zwijndrecht said.
Some 55 percent of 191 municipalities surveyed by the national broadcaster and regional media outlets said the limited ability for older residents to comfortably transition to another home is one of the reasons for the current housing crisis. This can then cause the housing market to stall, something which municipalities in Gelderland, Limburg, Overijssel and Zuid-Holland strongly emphasized. The issue was not seen as critical in Friesland.
About a fourth of municipalities said that housing corporations have too little capital for construction. A fourth also said that there is not enough land to develop housing projects in their municipality. About 20 percent indicated they thought national government policies were not in line with the situation, 16 percent put blame on wealthy buyers driving up sale prices, and 16 percent also said low mortgage interest was partially to blame.
Few municipalities (2%) thought corrupt real estate agents were driving prices up, 4% said they had issues with people holding on to property to wait for prices to rise higher, 5% blamed investors buying up rental apartments, and 8% said refugees with a right to a home were causing problems on the market.
NOS also noted that one third of municipalities think self-occupancy requirements for home sales is a potential solution, and two-thirds want the landlord levy abolished for housing corporations so they can invest the money in construction.
The national broadcaster worked with regional media outlets to survey representatives of 191 of the 352 cities in the country. The respondents ranged in population from large to small.