The housing market in The Netherlands is marked by high demand and limited supply, with the average house price now at €434,000. Haarlem, with an average price of €576,000, is the most expensive city, reflecting intense competition in urban areas. Even the outskirts of towns and regions like Limburg are experiencing high demand, creating a nationwide seller’s market where 56% of homes are sold above the asking price. Buying a house is quite a challenge, especially in the Amsterdam region, where only about 30% of people own homes. We will try to explain what is happening.

Government Housing Initiatives

One of the steps made to address these issues is the government’s plan to redistribute housing construction to the eastern and northern regions of the country. These areas offer more space and are less prone to flooding, aligning with climate resilience goals. This strategy aims to reduce pressure on the west and south, stimulate local economies, and foster balanced regional development.

Construction Challenges

However, the construction sector faces significant hurdles. Only 55,000 permits for new builds were issued last year, far below the needed number. High construction and labor costs and bureaucratic challenges make it difficult to scale up housing development, worsening the supply shortage.

New Builds vs. Existing Homes

Newly built homes offer several advantages: they are more sustainable, require less maintenance, and come with guarantees for any issues. However, high ground costs, construction expenses, and long building times can significantly impact your financial situation. For those needing a bridging loan to transition between homes, it is crucial to understand the terms set by banks. Such loans are less common now, and banks are more stringent. Finding an existing home might be a challenge, but the time from purchase to move-in is short, allowing you to enjoy your new home quickly.

Mortgage Rates and Financial Considerations

Current mortgage rates average 3.91% for a 10-year term, but banks are increasingly cautious. Securing a mortgage can be challenging if you do not have a steady job or have other financial obligations. Potential buyers need to be well-prepared and understand the stringent requirements that banks now impose.

Rental Market and “Wet Betaalbare Huur”

Homeownership is increasingly unaffordable for many, and the rental market also faces shortages. The new “Wet Betaalbare Huur” law aims to ensure fairer rents, with the government estimating that 300,000 homes will have to lower their rents. This law is controversial; while it seeks to protect tenants, it may lead developers and investors to sell properties, reducing rental availability and discouraging new construction.

Practical Tips for Navigating the Housing Market

  1. Seek Professional Guidance: Always consult with a real estate professional to help navigate the complexities of the market.
  2. Stay Realistic: Adjust your Wishlist to match what is feasible within your budget and the current market conditions.
  3. Set Priorities: Clearly define your priorities and follow the advice of experts to make informed decisions.
  4. Important Clauses: Do not skip critical clauses like financing reservations and surveys, even if it seems convenient.
  5. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for what you can afford and what compromises you are willing to make.
  6. Be Prepared and Patient: Be ready for a competitive market and practice patience as finding the right home may take time.


As a certified real estate agent with over 23 years of experience helping expats buy homes in the Amsterdam area, I understand the complexities of the Dutch housing market. With significant imbalances and regional disparities, navigating these challenges effectively is crucial. Government initiatives aim to promote sustainable growth, but new rental laws and construction hurdles add layers of complexity. You can find your dream home by staying informed and following practical tips.

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