Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dutch housing market declines, high household indebtedness, and rising unemployment could spark bankruptcies

In another sign of developing troubles in the Eurozone "core" states, the Dutch housing market declines (discussed here) are continuing. This is driven in part by weak consumer confidence and uncertainty surrounding the proposed mortgage relief program. According to CS, home sales and residential construction are at new lows.

Dutch housing prices YoY (Source: CS)

If the unemployment rate, which is currently at 6.5% (low by Eurozone standards but fairly high for the Netherlands) rises, bankruptcies will ensue.
WSJ: ... the Dutch have scant reason to be placid. Unemployment is low but rising, and the country only barely tipped out of recession earlier this year. Dutch households are among the most indebted in Europe, which means that higher unemployment could spark bankruptcies. Property prices have fallen to levels not seen for nearly a decade, further straining consumption and increasing the risk of a mortgage-debt conflagration.

Netherlands unemployment rate (SA, Bloomberg)
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