07 March 2024, by Emily Proctor

The rising cost of housing in the Netherlands means that buyers now need to earn around 95.000 euros a year, without savings, to afford the average house price, according to new calculations by the housing market data group Calcasa. The average home in the Netherlands now costs 452.000 euros.  

The amount needed to buy a house is more than twice the average salary

The data will come as no surprise to many first-time and single buyers, for whom buying a home can be especially difficult with just one income. The average salary in the Netherlands is 44.000 euros per year, which is less than half of the 95.000 euros Calcasa found is needed to buy the average Dutch home. 

This means that even two average incomes are not enough to buy the average Dutch home, with one or both buyers needing to earn more than average to afford an average-priced home. The government is attempting to tackle the high property prices by offering subsidies to those buying more sustainable homes, a special fund for first-time buyers and mortgage schemes, among other measures, but the housing crisis for both renters and buyers in the Netherlands persists. 

Many argue in favour of building more homes

The main solution offered by many to lower the high price of houses in the Netherlands is to increase the supply of housing. This means encouraging developers to build more homes, and encouraging buyers to purchase more newbuilds – the government has also recently made this a key part of its new housing and environmental schemes, as newbuild properties are often built to higher sustainability standards. 

This proposal is not without its opponents though. Buying new houses uses land, something that the Netherlands is undoubtedly a little short on, especially when considering that a significant proportion of the Dutch economy is reliant on agriculture – a land-intensive sector.

Aside from this, there is also something to be said about the value of green spaces within society – for many people, spending time in the outdoors, forests and fields is an important part of their life in the Netherlands and could be threatened by new housing developments in rural areas. This often makes new developments a tricky topic for locals, with some pleased to have more options for housing in the local area, while others are unhappy that residential areas are replacing green spaces.

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