AMSTERDAM Nov 4 Dutch building group BAM
(BAMN.AS) took a 127 million euro ($179.6 million) property
write-down citing an increasingly depressed housing market, as
the credit crisis continues to hit building projects and the
readiness of people to take on mortgages. [ID:nLDE6A30IP]
Following are some facts about the Dutch housing market.
WIDER HOME OWNERSHIP
After World War Two, the Netherlands suffered from a big
housing shortage, so the government and housing associations
started massive building projects for rental homes.
With economic prosperity came a need for higher quality and
non-rental houses while the break-up of the traditional family
unit has also boosted the need for houses. Currently the split
between rented and owned property is about even as home
ownership is encouraged with the use of tax breaks on mortgages.
Demand for new houses in the Netherlands is expected to rise
in line with the rise in the number of households, according to
a recent report by the Phanos Capital group, a property
It expects the number of households to increase by some
550,000 units per year in 2003-2010, dropping to 50,000 per year
in the 2010-2020 period, reflecting demographic and
TRANSACTIONS AND PRICES
In September, 10,411 houses and flats were sold in the
Netherlands, down 6.4 percent from August and down 6.5 percent
on a year ago, the land registry, which keeps track of property
transactions nationwide, said in its monthly report.
House prices fell 1.8 percent in September from a year ago,
as the pace of decline slowed from 5 percent in July 2009. The
annual rise peaked in January 2000 at 20 percent.
Several big public-private new housing projects have been
cancelled or scaled down for financing reasons in the wake of
the credit crisis, including the Bloemendalerpolder for 4,500
houses south of Amsterdam and the Wierringerrandmeer in the
northwest for 2,000 houses around a recreational lake.
In the office sector, some large projects had already been
scaled down substantially. Amsterdam wants to save 200 million
euros on its 400 house building projects including the IJburg II
artificial island area in the large IJsselmeer lake.
The latest data for 2009 shows there are 16.58 million
people in the Netherlands, grouped in 7.31 million households of
which 2.62 million are single-person households. There were 7.2
million houses in 2009, when new building permits fell by 17
percent. The mismatch is in quality, size, location and price.
(Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)