Why the coronavirus creates space for expats on the Dutch housing market
The Amsterdam real estate market has been tight for years. Too few houses got built in recent years, the number of people who wanted to live in the city rose, and sharp inflation in the purchase and rental prices of real estate has emerged. The increased number of expats in the Netherlands resulted in a growing group of people looking for housing in cities. The in Amsterdam based Booking.com expanded considerably, and the European Medicines Agency moved to the Netherlands in 2019. For thousands of families, accommodation had to be found and preferably all in and around Amsterdam.
Brokers, real estate investors and homeowners pinch their hands. House prices skyrocketed, and empty houses got rented out at the speed of light for exorbitant prices. It received much criticism from "the ordinary Amsterdammer". Finding affordable housing in Amsterdam has always been difficult, but the arrival of a large number of expats made it even more challenging. Not only for the Dutch but also the expats themselves, finding suitable and affordable housing became more complex.
Expats and Dutch people are more frequently moving to the relatively affordable suburbs and surrounding cities around Amsterdam. Utrecht, Hilversum, Haarlem, Zaandam and Hoofddorp increased in popularity, and house prices also rose distinctly there. Due to the widespread distribution of the coronavirus in Europe, the craziness in the Amsterdam housing market somewhat abated. Figures from housing platform Pararius also indicate that rental prices in the private sector fell in the past quarter in many large and medium-sized cities. Only in Utrecht, the prices have risen in recent months.
"In Amsterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven, for the first time in a long time, there has been a slight decrease in the average free sector rental price. The average rental price in Amsterdam fell by 1.4 per cent, in The Hague by 0.5 per cent and in Eindhoven by 1.9 per cent. In Rotterdam, the average rent increased by 0.2 per cent to € 16.33 per square meter per month. In Utrecht, the price increase was somewhat higher: new tenants paid 5.6 per cent more than in the second quarter of 2019, € 17.81 per square meter per month. At € 23.09 per square meter per month, Amsterdam is still the most expensive Dutch city to live in. In The Hague, new tenants paid € 16.20 per square meter per month for a private-sector home, which is a difference of almost € 7.00 per square meter. In Eindhoven, new tenants paid almost ten euros less per square meter than in Amsterdam. An average rental property there costs € 14.45 per square meter per month," writes Pararius.
The corona crisis is not beneficial for everyone, but it may be a perfect time for expats looking for a home in the Netherlands. Housing prices can vary considerably locally when buying or renting a house. Hiring a specialised real estate agent is highly recommended. They continue to work and do digital viewings if desired. This way, you can safely view various houses, even if you are not yet in the Netherlands.
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