Despite high vacancy rate, government is a big office builder

A record number of permits for new office blocks were granted in 2010, despite the large volume of empty office accommodation, according to ING economists on Thursday.

Permits granted to government agencies had a combined value of €301m, almost half the total, the economists say. The government is making tackling the office surplus a policy priority.
According to a report by ABN Amro economists earlier this year, the government currently owns or rents 21% of the country’s supply of offices.
Some 14% of offices are currently vacant and the government is considering plans to turn some into housing for students and starters.

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