Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan is worried that wealthy Chinese and Russians are going to start buying up properties in the city’s 17th century city centre, the Financieele Dagblad said on Saturday.
The mayor told the paper that this is a ‘major risk’ and that the entire city council shares his fears. ‘This is really something to be worried about,’ Van der Laan said. ‘We think Amsterdam should remain a city for all Amsterdammers.’
The fears have been prompted by the situation in parts of London, where wealthy foreigners have invested heavily in properties which they rarely live in. If Amsterdam properties are bought en masse, this will threaten the city’s social balance and livability,’ Van der Laan told the paper.
The FD points out that this summer a listed building on the Herengracht was bought by a Turkish millionaire for €6.7m. He is currently involved in bidding for construction group Ballast Nedam.
In addition, a waterfront house in Vinkeveen was recently sold to a Chinese businessman for €10m, the paper says. However, it was the government itself which sold the former Prinsengracht law courts to a Chinese hotel group, the paper points out.
According to the Parool earlier this month, 15 ‘expensive’ Amsterdam houses were sold to Chinese and Russians last year. Other rich ‘foreigners’ bought many times that, the paper said, quoting figures from Amsterdam real estate agent association MVA.
There are currently 18 homes on real estate website Funda which cost more than €3m. And broker Pieter Joep van den Brink told the paper 90% of the houses sold in Amsterdam change hands for less than €350,000.
While Amsterdam is attractive to rich foreigners, there is no question of large numbers of houses being bought as investments, he said.
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