Expats and internationals that come to live in the Amsterdam area will obviously need somewhere to live. Here we aim to give you all the essential information you need to make the right decision for your housing in Amsterdam. It is an important choice, and you need to be better informed, be it buying or renting a home. There is massive pressure on the housing supply due to high demand. We hope that this information about housing in Amsterdam will help you to make better choices.
The Housing in Amsterdam Situation
In previous decades, the flow of expats into the area often meant a very healthy rental market, with some staying longer term and purchasing a home. Following the last economic downturn, many companies pulled out of the Netherlands, and the housing market became very distressed after 2009. Prices were dropping fast, and there was very little demand to buy as available credit was throttled by the banking crisis. However, in the last few years, the market has seen a strong recovery as confidence returns and buyers flood into the market. Many companies are relocating to the Amsterdam area, and the number of expats living there is growing fast. Due to high rental prices, many of those expats are choosing to purchase a home, and this increase in demand is driving the market prices up.
Amsterdam has many classic and well-maintained buildings. Living on the Amsterdam canals is often the dream of many expats as they arrive in the area. Only a limited amount of canal houses come on the market, and again, the demand is high. Many developments are being undertaken, and much of the new housing stock is oversubscribed before the projects are finished. This increase in demand has meant that buyers are happy to live further outside the centre of Amsterdam. Or indeed, in surrounding towns and villages. The knock-on effect of course, is a price increase in those places.
It will be interesting to follow what happens in the next few years to housing in Amsterdam. Also, as the Brexit effect takes hold. Nothing goes up forever, so you will need to do your research and listen to the experts.
It is more challenging to get a mortgage if you are self-employed. You will need to pass more stringent conditions and provide better guarantees. This is because you are more of a risk to the lender.
Getting a mortgage
With the pace at which the market is moving, you should really consider getting good advice from an expert for the mortgage and get all the information about costs and conditions sorted before you look for the house. Once you find a suitable place, you will need to act fast in order not to lose it to a better-prepared purchaser. As in pretty much every country, a good lender will have quite strict rules about who they will give a mortgage to and under which conditions. For non-Dutch EU citizens, they will be looking to see that you have a local work contract and how long you have been living in the Netherlands (usually needs to be over five years). Of course, you should have a valid reason and permission to be resident in this country too. We recommended mortgage advisers for expats in our services section for mortgages.
Real Estate Agents (Makelaars)
If you are buying or selling, you might be wise to use the services of a local Amsterdam real estate expert or Makelaar. Unless you are fluent in Dutch and the local property laws, the use of Makelaars will help keep the operation smooth and generally hassle-free for you. In Amsterdam alone, there are well over 300 real estate agents. They can handhold you through the visits and advise you on the progress of any deals or negotiations. There are costs involved for this service, of course, but they usually outweigh the risk of doing it by yourself.
There is an association for the Makelaars and a code of conduct, so ask around and go with someone you feel in capable hands that you can trust. This will be paramount when making the offer. They will know all about housing in Amsterdam and give price guidance and advice. Making a formal offer to purchase is a legally binding contract that you can get out of. However, this will most likely have costs attached for you to pay if you rescind the offer. Far better to make the offer subject to the acceptance of financing agreements. In the ‘hot’ market we have recently seen, there are many offers for the same property. It was often a no-conditions cash buyer that would get the deal as that is the preferred offer on the seller’s side as everything moves along much quicker.
For a list of trusted real estate experts see our listings.
Renting a property
With many properties coming on the market for sale as the owner take the option to take profits from the rising values in the last few years, this leaves less for people renting a home in Amsterdam. In recent years, rental prices and crept up at an ever-increasing rate. Some people are blaming these rises on the growing expat community. Some owners target expats for their rental properties hoping to get better returns.
Prices up and down
Recently, price increases in renting a home have meant that many people have decided to purchase a property. This is also due to the still low-interest rates. Depending on which kind of rental you are looking for, there is now a massive difference between a room in a shared house and a family house with several bedrooms. Price is now the deciding factor for most people. The rental price can include two things: The actual monthly cost of the property and the charges associated with renting. These include the lift, lights, communal areas, bins, water, internet and so on. Get in contact with Amsterdam area home rental professionals.
You will need to prove you have a BSN number. Also, of course, provide decent proof that you can afford the rent. This is especially true if you are a student. Using a professional rental agent will make everything easier. The Industry does have agreed codes of conduct and provisos for conflict resolution.
Renting a home or apartment or a whole house might be the preferred solution when you have fluid timelines. Or when you are on a fixed term for placement. You can find furnished or unfurnished options in most towns and cities across the country.
Conclusion Housing in Amsterdam
Well, it all comes back to supply and demand. Covid has had some effect on demand, but mortgage agreements are at all-time record highs. The rental market has seen price pressure downwards as demand tailed off as covid started to bite.