Real Estate

VastgoedLAB discusses housing market with Minister for Housing

July 16, 2015

Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector, Stef Blok, called the comparison with housing market reformer Nicholas Pierson by Professor of Real Estate Economics Dirk Brounen “honorable.” Minister Blok said this during the TIAS college tour at Provada 2015.

Professor Dirk Brounen and Minister Blok discussed various real estate issues: changes in the housing market, government real estate, and foreign investment.

Housing market reformer

The Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector sees the comparison with housing market reformer Nicholas Pierson as honorable. In his time as a member of parliament, Blok got to know the housing market well, he told the audience. If he were to be provided with the opportunity, he wants to reform this market. And with change comes resistance. "With changes you touch a sore spot. The housing market had many privileges and these have now been modernized,” said Brounen.

Blok said he is surprised by the speed of recovery in the housing market. He sees that recovery in the rising house prices and increased sales. "I already see that house prices are rising and the number of transactions in the market is increasing."

Government real estate

Minister Blok is also responsible for the real estate owned by the central government. Brounen wanted to know from the minister how he plans to reduce the government’s real estate, while the commercial office market, too, must to deal with a shrinking market. The minister said he is working on market transformation. To that end, he will talk to commercial parties about repurposing of real estate.

Foreign investors

These reforms have changed the market significantly in recent years; meanwhile the Minister also wants foreign parties to invest in the Dutch market. But foreign investors are looking for a stable market. Brounen was interested in the Minister’s point of view in regards to this. Blok said he deliberately opted for a high pace of reforms. The market may then stabilize quickly. "And I also see the benefits of that as more and more foreign investors are active in the Dutch real estate market."

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