Abstract:Housing became more expensive in the Netherlands between 2002 and 2006, a trend which has been demonstrated using various measures of affordability. The expenditure-to-income ratios calculated for households confirm that the average cost of housing rose for tenants and homeowners, as well as for most income groups generally. This contribution analyses the development of various components of household expenditure which contributed to these higher ratios. One of the most important considerations here is the fact that average household disposable incomes either fell (tenants) or remained stable (homeowners) during the four-year period under review. This leads to the question of whether these increasing income differences between renting and owning can be attributed to the business cycle alone, or whether they are part of a longer-term trend that will eventually result in a rental sector that provides housing for those on lower incomes. The findings suggest that a longer-term or structural widening of the income gap between renting and owning may indeed be taking place.