05 November 2021, by Victoria Séveno
The municipality of Amsterdam is looking to introduce a new rule to protect the housing market from investors and property developers. Under the new measure, all homes valued at or under 512.000 euros must be lived in by the legal owner of the property.
Protecting Amsterdam homes from investors and developers
The hope is that setting this threshold will mean investors are no longer able to purchase more affordable housing in Amsterdam with the aim of letting it out to renters. With the cap set at 512.000 euros, a significant portion of properties in Amsterdam – around 60 percent – will fall under the so-called purchase protection.
A similar rule was introduced last summer, when the municipality ruled that buyers of new-build properties must live in the house they buy for at least four years before being able to legally rent it out. However, no restrictions are currently in place against buy-to-let for existing properties.
As outlined by the municipality of Amsterdam, there would only be a handful of exceptions to the proposed legislation. Anyone who buys a house anywhere in the capital would only be able to rent it out to direct family members, or for a maximum period of one year within the first four years of owning the property if, for example, they unexpectedly and temporarily move abroad. Finally, an exception would apply to any residential properties directly connected to a business space, office, or shop.
Municipality says houses are meant to be lived in
“Houses are meant to be lived in,” the municipality wrote on its website. “Not to buy up and then rent out for a lot of money.” The municipality hopes purchase protection will protect the capital’s housing market from investors and sky-rocketing prices, while also making it easier for first-time buyers and people with average incomes to buy property in Amsterdam.
The proposal was made published this week, and the general public has six weeks to submit their feedback and own ideas for the measure. A final proposal will be submitted to the city council for a decision in February 2022, with the municipality hoping the rule could come into effect as early as next year. In addition to this, January 2022 will see a new rule come into effect which bans investors from buying affordable housing in the major Dutch cities.