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What is the Anti-speculation clause?

Found a house with an Anti-speculation clause? Before you make an offer, you better read that!

House prices in the Netherlands have risen sharply in recent years. Therefore the government is making every effort to ensure that sufficient affordable homes are built and that these homes remain affordable. An essential means of achieving this is the anti-speculation clause. 

When buying a house, having a professional buying agent on your side may help you in understanding more about these kinds of clauses their implications.

What is the Anti-speculation clause?

The Anti-speculation clause is an article in the purchase contract that obliges the buyer to live in the purchased property for several years before the buyer may resell the property. It is a perpetual clause, so when the house is sold, the clause's effect is transferred to the new buyer.

The clause aims to keep the homes accessible to the target group and prevent speculation in the first years of occupancy. The condition is stated in the purchase contract that the house may not be sold during a specific period without permission from the municipality. If permission for sale is given, the maximum sale price is determined based on a calculation, whereby the original purchase price is indexed and plus demonstrable additional costs. The seller is exposed to a fine if the home's sale was at a higher price.


What is the purpose of the Anti-speculation clause?

The anti-speculation clause has been used in the past for two reasons. On the one hand to preserve the houses for the own population. On the other hand, to prevent the houses' selling price from increasing significantly in a few years. That is why contracts stipulate, among other things, that a prospective buyer must have a bond with the municipality, that the city determines the new buyer and that the municipality determines the selling price based on fixed calculation rules.

Based on case law, it is no longer permitted to require a prospective buyer to bond with the municipality or determine the new buyer. The only effect of the clause that the municipality sets before the sale are the price.

By determining the selling price to be used as a municipality, it is prevented that the house's value becomes so high due to market forces and scarcity that the selling price for a household belonging to the original target group can no longer be paid.


For how long does the Anti-speculation clause apply?

In the past, a term of 10 or 12 years was used. Today, the legally permitted time is 5 years. A period of five years is therefore adhered to in the new contracts.


What is the penalty clause on infringing the Anti-speculation clause?

If the house is sold above the municipality's selling price, then the seller must transfer part of the profit to the city, used as a penalty measure. In this way, you hope as a municipality to stimulate that the selling party adheres to the city's price. 

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