Rent levels have fallen in the largest Dutch cities partly because the coronavirus crisis has led to a slump in the number of expats arriving, housing market specialists say.
Across the country rents increased by 2.4% annually in the second quarter of 2020, but the average amount declined by 1.4% in Amsterdam, 0.5% in The Hague and 1.9% in Eindhoven.
Not all the major cities experienced a downturn, with Rotterdam rents going up by 0.2% and Utrecht’s rising by 5.6%. But market analysts Pararius said the absence of expat tenants was one reason for the reverse in cities that depend on highly skilled migrant labour.
‘They rent predominantly in the top segment,’ said director Jasper de Groot. ‘If the expats stay away, the properties are unoccupied. Expat properties are then advertised for a lower rent to prevent them standing empty.’
Thijs IJpeij, of Amsterdam-based estate agency HousingNet, said around 80% of his stock was normally rented out to expats. In the absence of international workers expat properties are being offered for up to 25% less.
‘We’ve got a typical expat property with 120 m2 in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert. Previously the owner would have been asking more than €2,400 for it: right now it’s at €1,850,’ he said.
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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