28 March 2022, by Mie Lan Kok

Various cities are introducing a purchase protection regulation to prevent investors from “hijacking” homes from starters. Mie-Lan Kok explains how this regulation affects people looking to buy a home and the benefits it brings to the housing market.

The reason for the introduction of the purchase ban is that there is a need for regulation in the local housing market. Relatively cheap properties are often bought up by investors and then offered for rent at high prices. As a result, starters and families find it difficult to buy a suitable place to live. We see that they have to make several offers before managing to get hold of a property.

What is purchase protection regulation?The purchase protection regulation is a new regulation in the Housing Act that came into effect on January 1, 2022. This measure gives municipalities the option of introducing a letting ban for existing cheap and medium-priced owner-occupied properties in certain cities and areas. The purchase protection must ensure that these homes remain available to buyers who are looking for their own homes, starters in particular. The rental ban applies for four years after purchase. Homes that are already rented out are not covered by this measure.

Low interest rates and additional mortgage options made real estate investments extra interesting for many investors. In the last quarter of 2020, 40 percent of owner-occupied homes in large Randstad cities were sold to investors. Starters and investors often want to buy the same type of homes. This resulted in starters buying fewer homes, partly because real estate investors are ahead of them due to having more financial options, as well as being able to offer sellers more financial security.

Amsterdam leads municipalities introducing regulationAt the end of last year, Amsterdam was the first municipality to publish detailed plans. The legislator has given municipalities the freedom to set an upper limit on the “cheap and medium-sized” homes to be protected. Municipalities make their own choice here. Amsterdam stretches the conditions to the extreme: for all owner-occupied homes up to 512.000 euros WOZ value, a rental ban will apply after purchase. Rotterdam opts for the NHG (National Mortgage Guarantee) limit of 355.000 euros, while Haarlem has 389.000 euros as a limit.

Many other large municipalities want to introduce similar rules for investors. These are not only large cities (Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Leeuwarden and The Hague) but also smaller cities. In the Amsterdam region, this would include places like Almere, Amstelveen, Haarlem and Hoofddorp. Also, several villages in Brabant are considering making use of this possibility to give starters more options to buy a property. It means that an investor needs to do extra research to find out if he can rent a property out.

A step in the right directionWith this proposal, it will be more difficult for investors to buy affordable houses and give starters and families more possibilities to buy these properties. Unfortunately, this measure alone is not sufficient to solve the housing shortage in the real estate market in the Netherlands. There is a serious shortage of houses and considerable additions will have to be made in the coming years but, at least, this is a good new rule that gives more possibilities for private buyers.

Do you have any questions about how the purchase protection regulation might affect you? If so, or if you have any other questions regarding real estate and buying or selling your home, do not hesitate to contact Mie-Lan Kok Estate Agency. Their experienced agents are on hand to provide whatever assistance you might need.

600,000 passengers are transported in Rotterdam every day by bus, tram, metro and even by the fast ferry over water. The transport operator in Rotterdam responsible for the network is called ‘RET’. They do an excellent job in the city, where the transport is reliable, widespread and fast. 

Where can I find timetables? 

Timetables are found at the various transport stops. There are also LED displays on metro and tram stops that tell you when the next one will arrive. You can check the timetables online as well. Timetables for the metro, tram, bus, ferry and night bus (known as the ‘BOB’, a teasing term in Dutch for the designated driver) are available  on the RET website. Local and national train timetables are listed on the NS Dutch Railway website.

Reduced fares 

The NS and RET both offer reduced fares for registered OV-Chipcard holders. If you travel regularly by train during off-peak times, it might be smart to buy an NS discount pass. For €52 per year, this subscription gives you a 40% discount on fares during off-peak hours. The RET also offers many discounted options, which are based on monthly payments and subscription. Both transport providers offer websites that can help you in choosing the correct subscription for your needs.

Planning a journey 

To find out the fastest and/or most convenient option to travel by public transport, there are smart and reliable Dutch websites that offer excellent English language options. If you will be travelling outside Rotterdam, you can use 9292 for your journey to find out which transport options you have to take and what the exact travel times and timetables are. If you will be travelling within Rotterdam, you can use either 9292 or the RET website. Both websites allow you to calculate your journey from your current location or postcode, so you don’t have to know the exact stop. The website also tells you how long it takes to walk to the stops.

Taxi 

How much do you pay for a Taxi in Rotterdam? At Express Taxi we use fixed prices, as you are used to from us. The advantage is that you immediately see how much a Taxi costs. This way you know where you stand and in addition, you can pay for your Taxi quickly and easily in advance. Book a Taxi via the online Booking Form. It is that easy to book a taxi Rotterdam.

Booking online means you can pay cash, Online or in the Taxi you can pay with your Credit or Debit card, This gives you various option. At Express Taxi we do everything we can to make it as easy and pleasant as possible for you.

RandstadsRail – Connection to The Hague and Zoetermeer 

RandstadRail connects the cities of Rotterdam, The Hague and Zoetermeer. There are several rail lines and bus lines which bring you easily and quickly from one city to the other. You can reach The Hague CS from Rotterdam CS within 35 minutes with metro line E.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport 

The Rotterdam The Hague Airport is a regional airport with international connections. Airlines such as Transavia, British Airways and Turkish Airways fly to over 40 destinations. Many people use the Rotterdam The Hague airport to reach their sun or ski holiday destination, but the airport is also the starting point for many business trips.

The Rotterdam The Hague Airport is easily accessible by public transport. There is a bus leaving every 15 minutes which brings you from RandstadRail stop ‘Meijersplein’ directly to the airport within 5 minutes.

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