Home purchasing

The Hague approaches ban on buying low-cost homes as rental properties

The Municipality of The Hague has taken another step to prevent buyers from buying affordable housing and then renting it from March 1. The city’s mayor and aldermen approved the plan to protect the affordable housing market for low and middle income. households wishing to live in cities. The entire city council has yet to give its approval, with council members due to debate the issue in January.

A new national law that came into effect on January 1 allows cities to create restrictions that prevent investors from buying housing. About 130 municipalities plan to adopt such rules. Amsterdam wants to reserve new sales of homes with a value of less than 512,000 euros only to those who plan to live there. Rotterdam is seeking to impose a similar limit on houses worth 355,000 euros, and plans are also under consideration in Utrecht.

In The Hague, purchase protection will only apply to houses whose official WOZ valuation does not exceed 355,000 euros. If city council goes ahead with the plan, a permit will be required to buy a property below this limit and then rent it out to tenants. The program is expected to require each year that approximately 800 purchased homes remain as independent properties.

A third of all homes sold in major cities, including The Hague, came into the hands of investors last year, according to the municipality. This figure rose to 40 percent in some areas of The Hague. Investors drive up house prices, making it virtually impossible to buy a home for first-time buyers and low- and middle-income buyers. As a result, either they have to pay high rent or they have to leave town.

There are some exceptions built into The Hague map, as in other cities. Family members can always buy a property to immediately rent it out to family members. It will also be possible to rent houses where the owner travels for longer. In addition, housing associations will benefit from an exemption if they buy housing to rent it out on the social housing market.

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