Housing > Housing in the Netherlands

Housing in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with 529 people per square kilometre. The Netherlands has little available space, houses at the lower and middle end of the market tend to be fairly compact out of necessity.

Housing in the Netherlands
Housing: Housing in the Netherlands

We explore in this section

What are the homes like in the Netherlands?

Most Europeans claim that housing is expensive and the gardens small. Americans used to the spacious properties frequently found in their home country also feel that the rooms themselves are small (particularly children's bedrooms). They are more likely to require the more luxurious end of the market in terms of decoration, fixtures and fittings. 
Those coming from places such as Singapore however, where land is also at a premium, may see things differently. Wherever you come from, it is essential to realise that the housing available will probably not be the same as you are used to!

Housing stock in across the Netherlands varies from studio apartments (a single room including sleeping area, living area and cooking facilities) and more traditional apartments with multiple, separate bedrooms, to larger houses (detached, semi-detached, or terraced).

Renting a house

For assignments of less than three years, in the current market, it is usually better to rent. Rental costs are fixed, contracts can be ended if you need to go back home, and the headaches of repairs and maintenance are the property owner's responsibility. Also, there is no loss through having to resell before your costs can be covered, nor the hassle of waiting for the property to sell should the market be slow again read more about renting a house in the Netherlands.

Renting a house

Buying a house

Although it is probably better to rent for a while before buying a house, the difference in monthly payments can make purchasing an attractive option for those staying longer. The difference comes largely from the fact that (for the time being at least) the Dutch government repays some of the mortgage interest as tax relief. Buying a house in the Netherlands. Visit the page dutch mortgage to learn more about mortgages when buying a house.

Buying a house

Why is housing in the Netherlands so expensive?

The Netherlands has seen a Dutch house price increase among the highest in the European Union. Between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021 there was an increase on average over 12.8 percent. In the next quarters this average was even higher. Reason for this is a growing population mainly by immigration, divorces and investments made by wealthy foreigners.   

Dutch politicians announced after finalizing forming a new government (end of December) as one of their top priorities to build a lot more houses and try to stop the increase of the house prices by making regulations against owning more than 2 houses and tax increase on renting your house.
According to specialists this will not be enough and house prices are expected to increase in 2022/2023. For the first time in several years there was a decrease of 5% recorded in house prices (september 2022). However in 2024 the house prices are rising again.

Mortgage rates

House prices in the Netherlands have skyrocketed in recent years. But we are seeing a slight decrease in house prices, 5% down in October 2022. Mainly caused by the increasing rates for mortgages. With mortage rates steady around 4,5%, we currently see a slight increase of house prices (september 2023) in The Netherlands. In november/december 2023 overbidding returned so it looks like house prices are getting hot again. For more information about mortgages and rates, check our mortage page.

This page was last updated: 03/13/2024.