Netherlands needs 10,000 new starter homes per year, says homeowners group
The Netherlands needs a minimum of 10,000 new starter homes at a maximum sales price of 260,000 euros, said Dutch homeowners association VEH in an appeal to Public Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge. The association was calling upon the minister because it believes that young people should have new opportunities to enter the housing market. VEH has therefore started a petition to draw attention to the position of first-time buyers. The association is also organizing a campaign for them during the Lowlands festival this weekend.
De Jonge wants to build 900,000 rental and owner-occupied homes in the next eight years, two-thirds of which must be affordable for first-time buyers. Unlike VEH, the minister believes the line defining affordability should be drawn at 355,000 euros. VEH said that newly-built homes around that price are still unaffordable for first-time buyers.
"To accomplish this, they must have a minimum annual income of twice the average (76,000 euros). Owning a home is therefore becoming impossible for more and more young people."
Karsten Klein, director of advocacy at VEH, believes that agreements should be made about the construction of houses that are really affordable for starters, "without lapsing into false solutions that no one is waiting for, such as container homes or the proverbial broom cupboards and chicken coops.” That is why the association wants the minister to realize 10,000 new and truly affordable starter homes every year.
According to the association, young people with an average income should be able to take their first step on the housing ladder. But because housing prices have risen much faster than income, this is increasingly unlikely.
VEH set their measure at 260,000 euros because two-income couples who together earn one and a half times the average (57,000 euros) can get more than 250,000 euros in mortgage, provided there are no debts or other financial obligations. They then have to pay the additional costs associated with buying a house themselves. Klein said, "With a home of 260,000 euros, you are in line with people's income levels.”
Reporting by ANP