RSH Trendwatch | Rental properties in the free sector are becoming increasingly scarce in Amsterdam
June 20th, 2023
An overview of important and current Immigration, Relocation and Housing trends in the Netherlands.
How Can Amsterdam Residents Secure a Rental Home? "People Call Us Begging"
The availability of rental homes in Amsterdam is rapidly declining while the demand remains high. How can one successfully secure a rental property? "Honestly, I just wouldn't know."
"When we post rental properties online with a monthly rent between €1500 and €2000, we receive seventy phone calls within two hours," says Barbara van der Grijp, founder of an Amsterdam-based real estate agency. "And that's not an exaggeration."
Van der Grijp's firsthand experience echoes the data published by rental platform Pararius on Thursday morning. According to the platform, there is a concerning scarcity of rental homes. While the demand is rising rapidly, the number of available rental properties has alarmingly decreased from just under 7000 to slightly over 2500 per quarter in the past two years.
Van der Grijp adds, "I see the shortage increasing on a weekly basis. Due to the accumulation of several new measures, property owners find it less appealing to rent out their homes. While it's great that this has resulted in more starter homes being put up for sale, desperation is growing within the rental sector. Prospective tenants call us with pleading requests, willing to do anything to gain an advantage."
Acting swiftly is crucial. This situation is also a cause for concern for Jerry Wijnen, real estate agent and chairman of the Amsterdam Real Estate Association (MVA). "You can hear the despair in the voices of the many people we have to turn down."
Wijnen also emphasizes the negative consequences this situation has on the investment climate in Amsterdam. "Many people come here to work, but if renting in the free sector becomes nearly impossible and it's your only option, it becomes challenging to accept a job."
So, how can one still have a chance at securing a rental home? Acting swiftly, says Wijnen. "Look, if we want to show a property to fifty people, we have to reject forty-nine. If you don't express your interest in a timely manner, others will already have scheduled viewings."
The real estate agent advises being well-prepared. "Landlords require a lot of information, such as income details. Make sure you have that sorted quickly. And yes, it still remains very difficult."
Outbidding is seen by Van der Grijp as the most successful tactic. However, even prospective tenants who resort to that face tough competition. "People sometimes call for a rental apartment priced at €2000 and then say, 'I'm willing to offer €2500!'" But what advice is there for those who cannot afford that? "Honestly, I just wouldn't know. Well, yes: be a pleasant person. Landlords highly value having someone who is responsible and can genuinely afford the rent in their property."
According to Van der Grijp, it doesn't necessarily help to distribute flyers with personal stories and vacation photos. "Real estate agents have a knack for figuring out whether someone would make a good tenant."
Better Chances in the Surrounding Region
The organization Stichting !Woon also has few solutions. "You could consider sharing a home with other individuals who are living alone. But that's primarily enjoyable for students. Eventually, you want your own place," says a spokesperson. However, according to Van der Grijp, those who are open to this option don't have many more possibilities. "Landlords often don't prefer it because having two people in a property increases the intensity of occupancy. For example, there may be more visitors."
The only thing that truly helps, according to the spokesperson from Stichting !Woon, is to swiftly ensure that homes become affordable again. "It's very unfortunate, but you have better chances in the surrounding region. Housing there may not be cheap either, but you get a lot more value for your money."
RSH Home Finding Services
With the challenges mentioned in the article, the RSH Home Finding Services offered for securing an aparment in Amsterdam could be stated as 'crucial'. Not only for our extensive rental market network, but also because of or in-house and in the field (expat) housing and real estate expertise.