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Amsterdam Becoming “a Sort of Hotel”

Gert Middlekoop, a Dutch city planner, has pulled no punches in describing what has happened to the property market in Amsterdam as developers have focused almost entirely on building tiny apartments for students and young people: “The city center has become a sort of hotel”.

Unfortunately, that is the easiest way for developers to maximise their profits, but it has led to a dramatic reduction in the availability of homes suitable for families, sparking an alarming rise in rents. This trend has hit families on average incomes the hardest, as they are not entitled to state-subsidized housing but property in the private sector is spiraling beyond their reach.

Unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, a high proportion of people living in continental Europe, including the Dutch, rent rather than buy their homes. The cost of renting has historically been reasonable but that has changed over the past decade or so. The cost of living is already high in Amsterdam, so, this jump in rental costs is pushing many families to reluctantly consider living in Amsterdam’s satellite towns and suburbs.

Luckily, the Dutch public transport city is excellent, meaning you can get to Amsterdam quickly and reliably from quite far away, but it is worrying to see a city which has always been characterised by its relaxed quality-of-life become hollowed out in this way.

On the plus side, it means that a lot more apartments, throughout Amsterdam, will be bought as investments and made available to tourists for short stays and vacation rentals. No doubt, the future of this city will feature even more tourists pouring out of even more buildings and getting hit by even more bicycles.

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Amsterdam Apartments