Market conditions weighing down residential property sales in the Netherlands
Bouwfonds Property Development, which operates as Bouwfonds Ontwikkeling in the Netherlands, develops complete residential areas in the Netherlands. Its other home markets are France and Germany. The regional branches of Bouwfonds Ontwikkeling collaborate with Rabobank Nederland and the local Rabobanks in the sale of new-build developments, area development or rejuvenation, and campaigns to give an impulse to local housing markets. The Dutch housing market was affected by ongoing consumer uncertainty. Although the Dutch Cabinet’s policy measures will bring some degree of reform of the housing market in the long run, they may, in fact, cause a further decline in the housing market in the near future. In the Netherlands, the number of transactions fell by about 30% and average house prices were down on 2011 as well. Bouwfonds Ontwikkeling sold 2,739 (3,922) residential properties in the Netherlands in 2012. The French market also suffered from the economic decline and the political uncertainty about housing subsidies; fewer homes than last year were sold as a result. The German housing market remained sound and the number of residential properties sold continued to rise thanks to low mortgage interest rates and high consumer confidence. Bouwfonds Property Development sold 6,312 (8,206) residential properties in total in 2012.