ABN AMRO’s Economic Bureau is expecting to make an upward adjustment of housing market forecasts in mid-2015. While the bank’s economists who contribute to the new Housing Market Monitor are somewhat reserved at this point, they do believe house-sale volumes and house prices will rise more in 2015 than predicted at the end of 2014.
In December of 2014, the Economic Bureau assumed the volume of house sales would stabilise in 2015, projecting a 1% rise at the time. Philip Bokeloh, economist at ABN AMRO: “The housing market was off to a stronger start in 2015 than we had anticipated: transactions were more frequent and prices were higher than forecast. While at this point it is too early to adjust our prognosis based on figures covering a period of only two months, it is likely that we will make an upward adjustment three months from now.”
Influences on the housing market
One of the reasons for being reserved about predictions for the time being is the consumer trust indicator of Dutch homeowners' association Vereniging Eigen Huis. Following a strong rise over the past two years, consumer trust in the housing market is stabilising. Nevertheless, the Economic Bureau expects that it will make an upward adjustment of estimates within several months, as the housing market continues to benefit from the stronger upturn in the economy. What’s more, as interest rates are decreasing on account of the ECB, house prices are staying at affordable levels.
More houses being sold
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Dutch land registry (Kadaster) have recorded a rise of more than 12% in houses sold during January and February compared with the year before. Not since 2008 have so many houses been sold, while house prices continue to rise. The CBS/Kadaster price index for February is 2.4% higher than it was in the same month of the previous year.