Jan van den Hogen
Head of Tenant Relationship Management Logistics Deka Immobilien GmbH
The market from a Dutch perspective.
The Netherlands: a wealthy, healthy and happy country, according to various statistics issued by the United Nations and the world Economic Forum. Due to a large number of contributing factors, such as a highly educated workforce, focus on sustainability and the environment, an extensive integrated city infrastructure, a stable political climate and the joint protection of both government and business interests, the country has succeeded in lifting its economy and financial position to an all-time high. Investments in real estate made by the business community form a significant and indispensable contribution to our nation’s prosperity, and therefore the quality of living, working and shopping found here. However, despite a seemingly bright and sunny future after years of economic crisis and struggle, the real estate sector would be wrong to assume that it can ease back the throttle.
With a very transparent and mature real estate market, and with solid returns, the Netherlands are on the short list of many an investor. Nevertheless, the real estate sector still has serious issues from the recent past that have to be dealt with. Numerous locations still have high vacancy rates, especially in the office market. Many retailers continue to fight for survival, old neighbourhoods are being depleted of their primary shopping facilities, and rental prices are under pressure. The fact that many retailers still ignore or are unable to cope with the e-retail business, does very little to warrant a healthy retail market.
There are still misalignments in the housing market, with a significant number of quality issues and a neglected target population in the middle class segment. The logistic and industrial property sectors are prosperous, and they are targeted by a lot of investors. This leads to a reduction in returns that might prove to be troublesome in the future, as history has already proven.
The bottom line is that the real estate market in the Netherlands is running smoothly and that we are a very interesting country for foreign investors, but also that vigilance should still be second nature to market participants.
Jan van den Hogen
Head of Tenant Relationship Management Logistics
Deka Immobilien GmbH, Munich