Pension fund PME enthusiastic about rental plans De Jonge

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Pension fund PME enthusiastic about rental plans De Jonge

Pensioenfonds PME is enthusiastic about the plans of Minister for Housing Hugo de Jonge to regulate a large part of the homes in the private sector from next year. Insurer ASR and real estate investors see little in the plan. ‘De Jonge will not make it with PME alone’, says Martine Wolzak, political reporter for the FD.

Pensioenfonds PME is enthusiastic about the plans of Minister for Housing Hugo de Jonge to regulate a large part of the homes in the private sector from next year. (ANP / Tobias Kleuver Media)

According to De Jonge’s plan, there will be a rent ceiling of 1100 euros and also a limitation of the annual rent increase to a maximum of half a percent above the average collective labor agreement wage increase. That would be necessary to protect tenants.

But investors are mainly afraid that their properties will not yield enough money. ‘If the real estate investors are capped, the returns will disappear,’ says Wolzak. With the counter-reaction, PME also counterbalances the complaints, Wolzak thinks. ‘On the one hand, they believe that there should be affordable homes for the Dutch, but on the other hand, as an investor, PME also considers returns important.’

Level playing field

PME hopes that the rules of Minister De Jonge will ensure a level playing field. ‘In the long term, the current prices are unrealistic and not sustainable. People can’t really afford that,’ says Wolzak. With a level playing field, real estate investors can count on approximately the same rental income, she says.

‘The life of a pawnbroker is also getting more expensive’

Martin Wolzak

As one of the largest pension funds in the Netherlands, PME manages approximately 50 billion euros. Of this, 1.3 billion is invested in Dutch rental properties. In the coming years, the fund wants to invest 150 million euros in the housing market.

Support

Wolzak thinks De Jonge needs more support for his plans than just from PME. Private real estate investors in particular also need to be on board, because they are paying the price of changed tax rules for real estate investors. ‘The life of a pawnbroker has also become more expensive. If private investors no longer earn from their real estate, they will sell the properties,’ says Wolzak. It is expected that other pension funds will follow PME’s example.


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