1887

Improving the flexibility of the housing market to enhance labour mobility

The housing market figures among the main determinants of labour mobility, as households seldom make employment and housing decisions independently of each other. This interdependence is likely to strengthen as the cost of commuting increases, due to worsening road congestion or measures that would raise fuel prices, for example to counter global warming. The Dutch housing market is more rigid than in many other OECD countries, as the result of numerous government interventions. Boosting labour mobility by easing rigidities would improve labour resource utilisation, which will be especially important as the labour force contracts with ageing. The rental sector could be made more attractive and flexible by dismantling strict rent regulation and rigid allocation mechanisms in the social housing sector. Lowering tax incentives to homeowners would improve the allocation of scarce capital and reduce house prices. Easing strict land-use and zoning regulation would increase the supply of all types of housing, reducing prices and allowing the housing stock to adjust better to residents’ needs

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