Housing rents in the non-rent controlled sector continue to rise, with an average increase of 6.7% for new tenants in the first quarter of this year, according to research by rental housing platform Pararius.
The rise is sharpest for semi and completely furnished rental property, where prices for new contracts are up 9% and 6% respectively, Pararius said.
However, there are wide regional differences and in Amsterdam, for example, where rent rises had slowed, the increase was 8.6%. This takes the average price of a 70 square metre apartment to €1,700.
Pararius director Jasper de Groot points out that most properties in the capital are rented fully or partially furnished, which are traditionally more expensive. ‘Just 9% of properties offered to rent via Pararius in Amsterdam in the past three months were unfurnished,’ De Groot said.
Many of the furnished homes are likely to be former Airbnb rentals which can no longer be rented out to tourists because of city council restrictions.
In Utrecht, which was the second most expensive place to rent, average prices have reached €1,360 for a 70 square metre flat. However Amstelveen, Haarlem and Leiden are now slightly more expensive cities to rent than Utrecht, Pararius said.
De Groot said the government’s efforts to boost the amount of social housing – with a rent of below €763 a month and strict income requirements – were not helping the non rent-controlled sector.
‘This sector is already far too small and the measures being introduced will simply stop investors putting money into free sector housing,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Blackstone director James Seppala has told a meeting of the parliamentary home affairs committee that the investment group is in the Netherlands for the long term.
Blackstone has been under fire both for leaving hundreds of homes empty pending renovation and putting up rents to levels beyond the reach of most Amsterdammers.
‘We are here for our investors and we want a safe, stable return on investment for them, and for our tenants,’ he said.
Seppala said the average rent charged for the group’s 1,700 homes in Amsterdam is €1,750. ‘We follow the market,’ he said. ‘That is the only thing we do,’ he said.
Blackstone later contacted Dutch News to say the average rent is €1,200.
Seppala admitted that the company has not yet paid tax on its Dutch residential investments but that is because the division has not yet made a profit. ‘We hope to do so next year,’ he said.
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