The expansion of the WWS points system will have a marked effect on the Dutch housing market.

The extent of this effect will depend on the rental limit chosen (€1000 or €1250) and on any supplementary measures adopted in the new regulations. Mid-sector rents will fall, and this will have the most noticeable effects in urban regions. A logical consequence of the expansion of the WWS points system is that demand for housing in urban areas will inevitably grow.

This measure will therefore not solve the problem of rental housing affordability, but merely replace one problem with another. Instead of the problem being one of lower-quality houses with high rental prices, a new problem will arise: having to wait even longer for suitable social housing, and perhaps never getting to the front of the queue at all.

Heating or Eating

Housing affordability is under new pressure from energy costs.

A threat to the affordability of rental housing that has no connection with the new regulations surrounding WWS points is the steep rise in current energy prices. These rising costs, especially with a view to the coming winter and geopolitical insecurities, are having an ever-growing influence on renters’ total monthly costs. Renters would rather, therefore, that their houses had a good energy efficiency label. These are not always available. In the UK people are already speaking of ‘heating or eating’.

Sources ABF Research; Rijksoverheid Statistics Netherlands; Savills Data, Intelligence & Strategy

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