Favourable prospects for residential building

The number of residential building permits issued in 2006 exceeded 96 thousand, the highest number in nearly a decade. Relative to 2005, the increase was 16 percent. The number of houses completed rose by 8 percent last year to over 72 thousand. According to the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the increase mainly concerns flat units in the rental sector.

Highest number of building permits issued in nearly a decade

The number of building permits issued in 2006 was unprecedented since1997. After a trough in 2001, the number of building permits issued has steadily risen. 
Last year, the number of residential building permits issued increased in nearly all Dutch provinces. With almost 40 percent, the largest relative increase was recorded in the provinces of Gelderland and South Holland. North Brabant was the only province where the number of residential building permits issued decreased compared to 2005.

More rental flats completed

In 2006, nearly 5,400 more houses were completed than one year previously. The number of newly finished rental flats grew by almost 4,500. The number of newly completed single-family houses, on the other hand, remained virtually unchanged. Last year, 35 percent of newly completed houses were flats, as against 30 percent in 2005.
The largest relative increase (34 percent) in finished houses was recorded in North Brabant. Utrecht and South Holland were the only provinces where fewer houses were built than in 2005.

Housing stock increases by 58 thousand

In 2006, nearly 80 thousand dwellings became available on the housing market. Apart from newly built houses, the increase also included property made fit for habitation or property split into smaller units. Conversely, nearly 22 thousand dwellings were withdrawn from the housing stock. Last year’s net increase was 58 thousand. By the end of 2006, there were almost 7 million houses in the Netherlands. The 7 millionth dwelling is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2007.

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