02 April 2024

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Bouwinvest wants to stress the importance of fiscal and legal incentives and clear regulations, including the Affordable Rent Act, for housing construction in the Netherlands. As an asset manager for Dutch pension funds and insurers, Bouwinvest also stresses the need for certainty. This would enable these investors to continue to play a crucial role in reducing the housing shortage in the Netherlands.

A great deal of construction is needed in the coming years if we are to solve the current housing shortage. The Ministry of the Interior has stated its ambition to build 981,000 homes in the coming years. This is expected to require investment of at least € 400 billion. To complete that task, we need capital from Dutch and international pension funds and insurance firms.

However, Bouwinvest notes that interest from both Dutch and international institutional investors in the Dutch new-build residential market has declined sharply since 2022. This is partly due to changed market conditions, such as higher interest rates and increased construction costs, but also to a lack of clarity on the regulation of rents. This has to end.

Fiscal and legal measures

Bouwinvest supports measures that would improve the Dutch investment climate, as shown in research conducted by Cushman & Wakefield. This study, commissioned by the Holland Metropole public-private partnership, shows that certain fiscal and legal measures would help keep capital flowing into the Dutch housing market. These include reducing transfer tax, an introduction of a REIT regime and a level-playing field for Dutch and foreign pension funds to invest in both new-build, transformation projects, and existing buildings. 

The Affordable Rent Act

Bouwinvest also believes the Affordable Rent Act should be enacted. This law must provide sufficient room for pension funds and insurance firms to make a reasonable return on residential investments. After all, these returns are meant for the beneficiaries of pension funds and insurance firms. This is why there are still calls for the current bill to be improved on a few points, as previously stated by institutional investors’ association IVBN. Bouwinvest believes that this will enable institutional investors to invest more again, paving the way for the realisation of residential construction projects, for both owner-occupied and rental homes.