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Dutch News
Hopeful homebuyers rush to beat mortgage change deadline 12/2/2012

Friday 30 November 2012
Homebuyers are rushing to beat the January 1 deadline which will end tax relief on all but repayment mortgages, the Financieele Dagblad reports.
‘There is a run on property,’ Pieter van Santvoort, owner of one of the country’s biggest estate agent groups Van Santvoort Makelaars, told the paper. ‘We are dealing with double the number of transactions as a year ago.’
The country’s leading mortgage agent De Hypotheker also reports the number of mortgage requests have doubled.
Aegon, one of the country’s biggest mortgage providers, is processing 40% more requests and banks have put on extra staff to cope with the demand, the paper says.
Tax deduction
From January 1, 2013 tax relief will be limited to repayment mortgages only. This means popular mortgage forms such as a savings-based mortgage (spaarhypotheek) or interest-only mortgage (aflossingsvrij hypotheek) will no longer qualify for tax relief.
Existing mortgages are not affected.
Rabobank, the country’s biggest mortgage provider with some 40% of the market, expects house prices to fall a further 7% in 2013. Compared with the market peak of 2008, house prices are down by over 15%.
Almost 50% of the 228,000 homes currently on the market have been for sale for more than one year.


Police officer who shot 17-year-old youth questioned as a suspect
Friday 30 November 2012

The police officer who shot dead an unarmed 17-year-old youth at a railway station in The Hague last weekend is being questioned as a suspect, the public prosecution department said on Friday.
The youth was shot in the neck at around 06.30 on Saturday morning after apparently being told to put up his hands. He died a short while later in hospital.
Police had drawn their weapons after receiving reports that an armed man was threatening people at Hollands Spoor station.
Investigation
A full investigation into the shooting is now underway.
A spokeswoman for the public prosecution department told news agency ANP focusing on the police officer as a suspect is ''not standard''. ''The decision was taken by the department,'' she is quoted as saying.
Friends of the youth, Rishi Chandrikasin, are planning a demonstration in The Hague on Saturday, the Telegraaf said. He was cremated on Thursday.
Although the youth had a criminal record and was living under social work supervision, friends said he had turned his back on his past and had gone back to school.

Sinterklaas collapses at football club party
Thursday 29 November 2012

A Sinterklaas party at a football club in Apeldoorn went wrong on Wednesday afternoon when the man playing St Nicholas collapsed with a heart attack.
The man was rushed to hospital in Zwolle where he remains in a coma, RTL news said.
The children were immediately taken out of the room when Sinterklaas was taken ill and the party continued elsewhere. ‘The drama [of Sint collapsing] was enough for the children to deal with,’ club chairman Ton Peters told local paper De Stentor.

Chilly weather on the way
Thursday 29 November 2012

Weather forecasters say there will be light frost over most of the country on Thursday night, as more wintry weather hits the Netherlands.
Friday will remain cold, with the temperature rising to no more than 5 Celsius and there may be some wet snow inland.
The weekend will have wintry showers and it will feel very chilly, at no more than 4 Celsius. At night the temperature will dip to as low as -4 Celsius in sheltered inland places, bringing slippery roads in the mornings.
Next week it will remain colder than average for the time of year with the chance of snow.


 
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