Dutch rents decrease on average for first time in 6 years

The decrease in private sector rent prices that started in the big cities is now also spreading to medium-sized cities. As a result, the average private sector rent in the Netherlands decreased for the first time in six years in the past quarter, according to figures from rental platform Pararius, NOS reports.

In the third quarter, the average private sector rent in the Netherlands was 0.4 percent lower than in the second quarter. This decrease only concerns rents charged to new tenants when they move in. The annual rent increase for existing tenants already happened in July.

“That is market forces in optimum form,” Pararius director Jasper de Groot said. “Landlords have pushed the boundaries of what is possible, but there is a maximum to what people can and want to pay. Now that there is less demand and greater supply, prices are falling.” The coronavirus crisis reinforced this effect, because it kept expats and tourists away, De Groot said.

In the second quarter, rent decreases were mainly visible in the large cities. In the third quarter, this also spread to medium-sized cities. In Amsterdam rents decreased by 5.9 percent, in The Hague by 1.5 percent, in Utrecht with 2.9 percent, and in Eindhoven by 7.1 percent.

In medium sized cities, rents also decreased in the third quarter – by 7.8 percent in Amstelveen, by 7.1 percent in Haarlem, by 8.5 percent in Bussum, by 10.3 percent in Hoofddorp, by 5.8 percent in Leiden, and by 3 percent in Enschede.

There were also a number of cities where rents increased, though not enough to keep the national average positive. In Rotterdam rents were 0.6 percent higher in the third quarter than the second quarter, in Tilburg rents increased 4.9 percent, in Nijmegen 8.4 percent, in Deventer 4.5 percent, in Leeuwarden 6.3 percent, and in Almere 6.2 percent.

Despite rent decreases for two quarters, Amsterdam is still the most expensive Dutch city to rent in. In the third quarter, new tenants in the capital on average paid 22.09 euros per square meter, compared to the national average of 16.65 euros per square meter.

Whether rents will continue to fall depends on the owner-occupied housing market, De Groot said. If that gets into trouble, more rental properties may become available, increasing supply and lowering prices. “People who have already bought a new house, but cannot sell their old house, must rent out one of the two.”