The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

HOUSING

Municipality costs surge to highest levels since 2007

Research published Wednesday by the Centre for Research on Lower Government Economics (COELO) – an independent research institute affiliated with the University of Groningen – reveals that municipal housing costs are rising significantly faster this year than inflation. Based on an annual overview examining the rates of 40 large municipalities (which are collectively home to 41% of the Dutch population), COELO reports that in 2020, tenants and homeowners will pay the largest increase in housing costs since 2007.

The local housing charges vary by municipality but consist typically of property taxes on the ownership of the home, waste tax (which is used to fund waste collection and processing) and sewage tax. This year, waste tax, in particular, experienced a sharp increase of 5.9% or €17. According to COELE, this is “because many municipalities are only just starting to implement the waste disposal levy.” Additionally, the waste levy and a .9% rise in sewage taxes will affect those who rent their homes, as this population should expect to pay an average increase of €18 more in housing fees – 5.1% higher than in 2019.

Homeowners in multi-person households will pay fees an average of €30 more this year, a 4.3% increase to €734 annually. The expected inflation rate in 2020 is just 1.6%. COELE reports this is the second year in a row that housing costs experienced a sharp increase in the Netherlands.

The report indicates average living costs are highest in Leiden, at €878 euros, and lowest in The Hague, at €597 euros.

COELO says it will publish data later this year covering municipal taxes not released in Wednesday’s report, including information on taxes of provinces, water boards and information from the remaining municipalities not included in this study.