Is the return of expats driving up rent prices in Amsterdam?
While July 2021 may have seen the smallest rent increase in 60 years, real estate agents based in Amsterdam report that rents in the Dutch capital are once again on the rise, as expats and tourists return to the city.
CBS reports smallest rent increase in 60 years
This week, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported that rent prices across the Netherlands rose by an average of 0,8 percent in July 2021 in comparison to the previous year, marking the smallest increase in Dutch rents since 1960.
This figure may provide many tenants with hope for the future, but only came about because of new legislation introduced by the Dutch government which came into effect on July 1 to regulate rental prices. In fact, the main Dutch cities recorded higher increases: 1,6 percent in Utrecht, and 1,2 in Rotterdam.
Housing shortage vs rising demand in Amsterdam
Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, a drop in immigration and tourism as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 last spring meant real estate agents saw many rental properties stay empty for extended periods of time while rent prices fell. Consequently, many residents of the city found it a lot easier to find a place to rent.
As travel opens up, however, and many expats who delayed their move following the pandemic now arrive in the Netherlands, rents are once again on the rise. “The massive influx of expats mainly leads to a lot of demand for homes up to 2.000 euros. These are therefore in scarce supply,” Amber Bronkhorst from Koops Makelaardij explained to AT5. “The more expensive homes above 3.000 euros are still a bit behind, there is a less rapid increase in demand."
New expats leading to rising rents in the Netherlands?
Furthermore, existing tenants now find themselves in a position where they’re less likely to move: not only do they face higher rental prices - CBS reports that rental prices rose by 1,1 percent in Amsterdam in July - but they are hesitant to buy a house in the current market.
While an increase in the number of new expats in Amsterdam does have repercussions for the Dutch housing market, estate agents emphasise that expats are not the ones to blame. “The fact that the rents are so high is not because there are too many expats,” Tom Booij from Booij Makelaardij says, “but because there are simply too few homes built.”