Housing Market Picks Up in Third Quarter
THE HAGUE, 11/10/13 - The dynamics on the housing market have revived in the third quarter. The number of housing sales was 10 percent above the second quarter. The prices declined by 0.6 percent, the Netherlands Association of Estate Agents (NVM) reported Thursday.
In total, some 30,700 homes changed hands in the latest quarter, compared with 27,700 in the second quarter and 25,000 in the third quarter of 2012. The increase is remarkable. Normally, the number of transactions declines in the summer period, by 6.3 percent on average.
NVM estate agents, good for three-quarters of the market, sold 22,700 homes in the latest quarter compared with 20,666 in the second quarter and 18,992 a year earlier. These numbers are still in sharp contrast to pre-crisis figures. In the third quarter of 2009, NVM estate agents sold 32,000 homes, and in the same quarter of 2007, as many as 36,779.
Compared with a year earlier, the number of housing sales was up 19.7 percent in the third quarter. Nonetheless, house prices declined further from July through September, by 3.6 percent from a year earlier. Prices were down 0.6 percent from the second quarter.
In the first three quarters, the average home sold declined by 2.8 percent in price “The price fall has remained relatively limited,” said NVM director Ger Hukker. “We expect that the price decline will flatten out further in the coming period.” He is predicting a total price decline of “not more than 4 percent, nearer to 3.5 percent.”
The sale price of the average home sold is now at 205,000 euros. The NVM does warn that the recovery is still mainly limited to the Randstad western urban agglomeration and a number of university towns. Rural regions like the northeast of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe and the region above Arnhem are showing a particularly weak performance.
The average home sold in the Netherlands in the third quarter took 159 days to be sold. This was shorter than the 176 days in the second quarter. This is the first time since 2011 that the selling time has got shorter.
At the same time, the supply of homes for sale also declined slightly. In the entire market, there are around 225,000 homes for sale, compared with 230,000 in the second quarter. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, the top of the market in terms of homes on offer, there are now 10,000 fewer homes on offer, or nearly 6 percent fewer.