Netherlands Real Estate Market Outlook 2021

The pandemic has had a large-scale and varied impact on the real estate market an there will be an uneven road to recovery in 2021.

January 21, 2021

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Looking back on 2020

There has been a decrease for the first time in 10 years with an investment volume of €17.9 billion. Despite that, the crisis has only partially affected the real estate investment market – the most hard-hit sectors were those that faced restrictions imposed by the government, such as hotels and offices. Much has been invested in housing and logistics real estate.

Looking ahead to 2021

We expect the Dutch economy to begin to rebound in 2021, especially toward the second half of the year. The recovery will be stimulated by government spending and recurring imports/exports. We expect a real estate investment volume of around €19 billion across the entire year. There is strong growth in the more affected sectors, driven by the vaccine and reducing of the contact restrictions. A brief reprise in Summer 2020 showed that sectors like hotel and retail real estate can quickly rebound.

Opportunities due to the pandemic

The corona crisis began to accelerate trends that were already in effect for some time, such as online shopping and hybrid styles of working. Real estate that can move with these developments will retain its capital values. Other assets can be viewed as the ‘new secondary’ – transformation can provide interesting solutions to this.

Green lights all around

Sustainability remained important, both during the corona crisis and going forward in 2021. The Netherlands is still a long way from meeting its targets for reduced emissions. Real estate can, and must, play a major role. Investors have higher demands on investments, green financing is easier to obtain and there is growing interest in sustainable portfolios.

Highlights per industry

  • Economy

    The Dutch economy remains relatively good shape. This is despite the negative effects of supply restrictions and lower consumer confidence, for instance. We expect a recovery of 1.9% of GDP in 2021.

  • Financial markets

    Financiers have become more cautious and risky projects will be unfinanced or attract higher interest rates. Funding that is obtained will have a lower ratio between loan and value. Financing will no longer be something that can be quickly arranged at the end.

  • Investment market

    Transaction volumes were lower in 2020 than in previous years. There were some sectors that appeared to be resistant to the corona crisis; others suffered considerably, which may provide transformation opportunities.

  • Sustainability

    The Netherlands has to produce 49% less greenhouse gases than 1990 levels by 2030. Sustainability is becoming more important as we get closer to the deadline. Real estate can, and must, play an important role in this.

  • Residential

    There is continuing high demand for residential investments, partially due to strict regulations. Transfer tax increases will cause pricing uncertainty at the beginning of 2021. After this, investment activity will pick up again.

  • Logistics

    Growth in e-commerce has made urban logistics real estate desirable, so rents are increasing. There is growing interest in brownfields due to a lack of available land for new developments.

  • Offices

    There is still high demand in prime locations. Other buildings have to evolve toward changing user requirements. Failing that, transformation – for instance, into housing stock – will be an interesting alternative.

  • Retail

    There is varying performance among different types of real estate. Shops for daily groceries and extra-urban (residential) shops are doing well, yet urban shopping streets are not. We are seeing a transition into ‘the compact city’ in the inner cities.

  • Healthcare real estate

    The increasing need for healthcare is making the sector become more professional and innovative every year. There is increasing interest and capital, yet there is a lack of supply. Transformations, redevelopments and new constructions offer opportunities.

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