Dutch House Prices May Drop 7% in 2013, Trade Group Says

House prices in the Netherlands, the fifth-largest economy in the euro area, will probably fall as much as 7 percent in 2013, the realtors’ trade group NVM said.

The average house price declined 1 percent to 207,000 euros ($271,000) in the fourth quarter from the previous three months and dropped 6.7 percent from a year earlier, NVM said today. Transactions jumped in the final quarter before the implementation of stricter mortgage rules, the group said.

House prices are predicted to drop this year as the Dutch economy may contract 0.5 percent and unemployment is set to rise to 6 percent, according to Dec. 19 forecasts by the government’s planning agency, CPB. Prices have declined by an average 16 percent since the start of the credit crisis, NVM said.

“The market will improve in the course of the year as long as there are no new developments that undermine consumer confidence,” it said.

About 115,000 houses were sold last year, NVM said. Transactions handled by the group’s members fell 4.1 percent to 85,321.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corina Ruhe in Amsterdam at cruhe@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net

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