Sunday 28 November 2021

Fewer office conversions, but over 80,000 new homes were created last year


Fewer homes were developed in empty offices and other redundant buildings last year, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.

Last year, 10,200 apartments were created in old offices, schools, churches and nursing homes, compared with over 12,500 in the preceding years, the CBS said.

The slow down in conversions is particularly bad news for single people – apartments in former offices tend to be smaller and not suitable for families, the CBS said.

The number of conversions went down most in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, but rose in Utrecht and Maastricht. In Rotterdam 1,905 new homes were created by repurposing buildings in 2019, but that fell to just 545 last year.

Even though there were fewer conversions, the number of new homes created in the Netherlands last year reached 80,200 – well above the government’s target of 75,000, the home affairs ministry said.

Square metres

In July, real estate agents’ association NVM said some 420,000 square metres of redundant office space was either given a new lease of life or demolished in the Netherlands last year.

But despite the coronavirus pandemic and the mounting popularity of working from home, the total amount of vacant office space in the Netherlands remained around 4.45 million square metres, NVM Business said.

In 2019, 505,000 square metres of offices were either transformed for a new function or demolished.

According to real estate advisory company Cushman & Wakefield, some 8% of offices in the Netherlands are currently empty.

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