Home prices fell 2.3% in March
Home prices fell more sharply in March than in the previous month. On average, the sales price for an owner-occupied home fell by 2.3 percent compared to the same month last year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Land Registry reported. Rising mortgage interest rates, among other things, are depressing home values.
In February, home prices fell by 0.8 percent on an annual basis. It was the first time in over a decade that homes were cheaper than a year before. Between February and March, homes lost 0.5 percent in value on average. A total of 15,453 homes changed hands in March, 2.4 percent less than one year earlier.
The price fall determined by CBS is not yet as extreme as the one calculated by the Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents (NVM). According to brokers, home prices fell by 8.2 percent in the first quarter. The NVM figures are less complete but are based on the moment the purchase contract is signed. That is earlier than when CBS registers sales, which means the NVM often identifies trends sooner.
According to CBS, home prices fell the fastest in the province of Utrecht (-3 percent) in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. Prices also fell in six other provinces on an annual basis. But in Zeeland, Overijssel, Noord-Brabant, and Zuid-Holland, homes were still worth more than in the first quarter of last year. Those increases were less sharp than in previous quarters.
Home prices also fell in the four large cities, with the sharpest fall in the city of Utrecht (-7.4 percent). The decrease in Rotterdam (-0.3 percent) was far below the national average.
Home prices in the Netherlands skyrocketed in recent years, making it increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to find an affordable home. The NVM recently warned that these problems are still not over, even though the supply of affordable homes is growing somewhat. In addition to the higher mortgage costs, this is also due to few new homes being built, the realtors said.
Reporting by ANP