Even though the COVID-19 crisis came as a bombshell, houses were still selling like hotcakes. So what does the housing market look like today? Estate agent Rutger Kanters from Waltmann Expat Broker explains!
Dozens of viewings
In 2021, we still see dozens of viewings per house and, although interest in selling has gone down slightly, interest in buying has actually increased and we don’t expect the situation to change anytime soon. With the housing market being too tight, buyers – especially first-time buyers – are willing to take more risks. They often go for the maximum mortgage and, for those who can afford to, accept a contract without reservations.
Over 75 percent of the houses that come on the market are sold either at the asking price or (far) above; 10% above the asking price has almost become the norm. The number of viewings and offers per property has declined somewhat, however, the pressure remains consistently high. Since January 1, 2021, investors are paying 8 percent in transfer tax and are expected to become more reticent to buy, at least for the time being. This will slightly improve the position of first-time buyers.
Real estate agent
As the housing market is so tight and private buyers hardly have insight into the ultimate selling prices of the listed houses, more and more people who are looking for a house opt for the services of a real estate agent. This often gives them a better chance to view the available houses (as estate agents know which houses are coming on the market before they are listed online) and the estate agent can offer more information regarding the state of the house and the expected selling prices. Consequently, they will have a better idea of what price they should offer for a house and, thus, are usually more successful at having an offer accepted.
The regulations in 2021
A new year means new regulations! This year, they are favourable for first-time buyers and homeowners looking to buy a new house. From January 1, 2021, first-time buyers below the age of 35 no longer have to pay the transfer tax, which is two per cent of the purchase price.
Dual-income buyers can now apply for a higher mortgage. Previously, the second income only counted for eighty percent, this has now been raised to ninety percent.
As the average price for a house also continues to increase, the maximum price for a house that can be bought with the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG) has also been raised from 310.000 to 325.000 euros. If you intend to make your new house more sustainable as well, this amount can be stretched to 344.000 euros.
The agents at Waltmann Expat Broker are more than happy to explain what these new regulations mean for you, as well as answer any questions you might have. You can contact them via their website, by calling 0031302313035 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Who knows, you might even be moving into your new house sometime this year!