ABN AMRO Group Economics expects the number of house sales to rise by 10% in 2015. This is contrary to the forecast at the end of last year, when this number was expected to stabilise. The adjusted forecast has consequences for 2016. With the number of sales expected to grow this year, Group Economics is anticipating a 5% rise for 2016.
The bank’s economists estimated a 1% rise in house prices at the end of last year. With prices also rising faster than expected, Group Economics has upwardly adjusted the forecast for 2015 to a 3% increase. The estimated price increase for 2016 has been raised to 3%.
Philip Bokeloh, economist at ABN AMRO: ‘The housing market has exceeded our expectations. A key reason for the strong recovery is the low mortgage interest rate. Other favourable factors are the improved labour market and higher growth of disposable income. Confidence is high. People who previously postponed buying a home are now making the move.'
Many people made use of the gift tax scheme at the end of 2014. Although ABN AMRO does not have any information on the number of gifts made this year, it appears as if this scheme has been used more often than it was in the period preceding October 2013. ‘The downward effect of the tighter income norms issued by NIBUD (National Institute for Family Finance Information) has not been as extreme as expected,’ says Mr Bokeloh. ‘But we cannot yet say anything definitive about the effect of the new NIBUD norms, as banks will fully apply these norms as from 1 July.’