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Dutch gov't not intend to boost housing market yet
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-12-06 14:57
Dutch Housing Minister Eberhard van der Laan has made it clear that the government currently has no plans to adopt any measures to boost the sluggish housing market, Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad reported Thursday.

Van der Laan, who was appointed the minister of housing, communities and integration last month following the resignation of Ella Vogelaar, said in a letter to the Dutch Parliament Thursday that "the situation in the housing market does not yet warrant revision of the existing instruments", the report said.

Some members of the parliament had asked the government to take measures to restore confidence in the market. The sale and construction of new homes is stagnating due to the financial crisis.

Rabobank, the Netherlands' largest mortgage lender, said recently that house prices may fall by 10 percent to 20 percent in the foreseeable future.

Van der Laan's predecessor Vogelaar had earlier said the government was working on a plan to support the housing market. Insiders said the measures include giving the building sector easier access to credit, extending the national mortgage guarantee scheme to more house buyers, and a reduction in conveyance tax.

Van der Laan said in Thursday's letter that the government would neither cut the property transfer tax nor raise the national mortgage guarantee ceiling from 265,000 to 350,000 euros (334,000 to 441,000 U.S. dollars).

But van der Laan said the government would consider stimulus measures "if the situation in the housing market deteriorates in the coming months more severely than a normal economic downturn."

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