House prices drop for the first time in decades

Prices of existing houses sold in February 2009 were on average 0.5 percent lower than twelve months previously. This is the first reduction since house prices are monitored on a regular basis (January 1995). In the course of 2008, prices of residential property already began to slow down, as is shown by the price index of existing houses, a collective publication by Statistics Netherlands and the Land Registry Office.

Nearly all types of existing homes were cheaper than in February 2008 except terraced houses. Prices of end-of-terrace houses and apartments declined most notably.

Prices rose only in the provinces of North Brabant and Overijssel. In the other provinces, prices dropped. The most substantial price reduction was recorded in Friesland, where prices were over 4 percent down on one year previously.

Compared to January 2009, prices of existing houses were 1.1 percent lower. Prices of terraced houses did not change. However, all the other types of existing homes were cheaper. The most substantial price decrease was recorded for detached houses.

For the fourth month in a row, the number of sales was substantially lower than one year previously. The number of houses sold in February amounted to 8.9 thousand, a 41 percent reduction relative to the same month one year previously. Sales declined considerably across all types of houses and all provinces.

Statistics Netherlands and the Land Registry Office have published prices of owner-occupied dwellings since January 2008. The price index of owner-occupied dwellings reflects price changes of existing owner-occupied dwellings sold in the Netherlands to private individuals.

Prices of owner-occupied dwellings

Prices of owner-occupied dwellings

More figures can be found on the theme page Prices.