One in 20 homes is not lived in

Almost 5% of the Netherlands’ housing stock was not lived in in January 2011, before the housing crisis really began to bite, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday.

The Netherlands had 7.2 million dwellings in January 2011, of which 375,000 were not lived in, the CBS said. Some 75,000 were used as offices, studios or as a second home, the CBS said. The rest were officially empty.
Two-thirds of the empty homes are rental properties, of which 70% were owned by private and institutional investors. Older houses are often left empty while waiting to be renovated or demolished, the CBS said.

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