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Dutch Home Prices Fall as Rural Areas Fail to Attract Purchasers

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Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch home prices fell in the third quarter as properties in rural areas failed to attract buyers, the NVM property brokers trade group said.

The average price dropped 0.6 percent to 205,000 euros ($277,020) in the third quarter from the previous three months, according to calculations based on data compiled by NVM. Values fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier.

“The drop in price has been relatively limited,” the Nieuwegein-based group said in a statement today. “We expect this trend to continue and the price drop to bottom further.”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition government is trying to revive a sluggish housing market while reining in home-loan debt levels that are among Europe’s highest. The market’s decline, triggered by the credit crisis and a deteriorating economy, was aggravated by government measures restricting mortgage-interest tax breaks and loan-to-value caps.

While conditions are improving in cities including Amsterdam, Groningen and Leiden, demand in rural areas is still weak, NVM said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net