Coronavirus is having an impact on property rents, new figures show


There is increasing evidence that the coronavirus crisis is having an impact on rental property prices, although rents in the four big Dutch cities show a mixed picture.

Research by property management organisation VGM suggests rents rose by an average of 1.4% per m2 in the second quarter of the year, compared with the year-earlier period. At the same time, there was a 13.5% rise in the number of new contracts being agreed in Q2.

‘This rise in the number of transactions is due to the completion of a number of new apartment complexes, more houses on offer because of Airbnb, and less demand from expats and international students,’ the organisation said.

After years of above average rises, Amsterdam’s m2 rise was in line with national trends at 1.4% and rents in the capital now average over €20 per m2, the VGM said. In Utrecht, however, rents rose by 11.3% to €13.87 per m2. Almere too showed major annual growth of almost 30%.

In Rotterdam and The Hague, however, the price per m2 fell by around 3.5% to €13.22 and €13.29 respectively.

In particular, the price of semi  and fully-furnished housing – types of property accounting for 17% of all new rental contracts during the second quarter – has gone down.

New arrivals

Housing experts say the coronavirus crisis has led to a slump in the number of expats arriving in the Netherlands, forcing landlords to adjust their strategies.

‘Expats rent predominantly in the top segment,’ said Jasper de Groot, director of rental housing platform Pararius said last month. ‘If the expats stay away, the properties are unoccupied. Expat properties are then advertised for a lower rent to prevent them standing empty.’

The ranks of rental properties have also been swollen by the collapse of the Airbnb market during the coronavirus lockdown. The national estate agents’ body NVM recently found that 29% more rental properties had been put on the market in the eight weeks from mid-March to early May than in the same period a year ago.

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