‘Amsterdam needs to build more homes faster’
“The municipality of Amsterdam needs to greatly accelerate the new construction of homes. Due to the scarcity that is now arising, prices of homes in the capital are rising undesirably high.” A wide range of parties reports this to Het Financiële Dagblad. From builders, brokers, developers and investors to corporations. “We do what we can”, the municipality responds, referring to the plans to realize 50,000 new homes in the next 10 years.
The rate of construction has risen greatly in recent years, but not enough to meet the demand. The capital attracts people like a magnet. Between 2016 and 2025, the number of Amsterdam households will grow by 75,000. Approximately 6000 to 7000 new homes are currently being built per year. But there is great doubt about whether this rate can be sustained because the ‘hard plans’ are running out fast.
In the meantime, prices are exploding. In 2015, the official (WOZ) values increased by 16.7%. It means an ever-growing group of people is unable to find living space in Amsterdam. Brokers and the municipality are even actively encouraging people to live in surrounding municipalities.
‘The municipality has made good progress, but they need to step it up’, says Wienke Bodewes, director of development investor Amvest. ‘A significant acceleration is needed’, says Henk Jagersma, CEO of Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance (RE & F), another large investor and developer in the city. ‘Otherwise, Amsterdam risks becoming unattainable to people who earn too much for a rented social home, but too little to buy an expensive house.’
Designate more construction sites, or accelerate plans, is the message of investors to the municipality. ‘This is the moment to do so’, says Bodewes. ‘The consumer demand is there and investors have enough money to invest.’
Currently, there is a lot of competition for the available construction sites, Marien de Langen from the corporation Stadgenoot establishes. ‘The solution is to enlarge the cake. Think about how we can actually step up the scale. It is practically feasible, but requires the subject to be given the highest urgency’, says De Langer
‘We are running at our absolute limit’, says Pierre van Rossum, director of land and development for the municipality. Plans are already being accelerated and expanded. Residential towers are becoming ever taller and are placed closer together in order to build enough in a city where room is scarce. He points to the Sluisbuurt. Two weeks ago, the municipality announced that 5500 homes will be created at the most western-most point of the Zeeburgereiland, nearly twice as many as previously planned. In order to achieve this, the highest tower will stand 143 meters tall.
Market parties praise the efforts of the municipality, which is working hard. ‘But the norm should not be whether someone is trying their best’, says Jagersma, ‘but whether you can meet the demand’.
Source: Rooijers, Eva (2016, 27 november). ‘Amsterdam moet meer en sneller huizen bouwen’.
Retrieved from https://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1177345/amsterdam-moet-meer-en-sneller-huizen-bouwen