Martijn Peters, Peters en Partners
City-centre: ‘A close look at the introduction of perpetual leaseholds’
Our real estate agency Peters en Partners is located on the Keizersgracht, close to the Leidsestraat. We get to see the changes that this bustling, lively area is undergoing on a daily basis. We’re observing the Rode Loper taking shape, the fact that residents and users believe that the Noord-Zuidlijn will truly start running, and that the inner city is becoming increasingly car-free. The number of tourists visiting Amsterdam and the City-centre borough is still rising, which is economically beneficial, but – as well as the construction works in public areas – also a source of annoyance for the locals.
Big projects in the city-centre for the near future are the preparation of the Noord-Zuidlijn and the corresponding Rode Loper. In the long term, the Stationseiland (the island with Amsterdam Central Station on it) will be taken on. The area is expected to attract around 300,000 travellers each day in 2025. There are plans to build a new bicycle parking area in Het IJ, behind the Central Station, for at least 4,000 bikes, with a pedestrian boulevard on top of it. This plan is called ‘Project Waterfront’.
Our agency is one of two selected parties eligible to sell property for the Municipality of Amsterdam. Because of this, we have been the first to witness the introduction of perpetual leaseholds for the existing properties in the city-centre from up close. Summed up, this system allows a buyer to bid on a building and choose whether to pay the yearly indexed (CPI) ground rent, or to buy off the obligation to pay the ground rent once and for all. During a mandatory sales term of at least six weeks, candidates can place bids at a solicitor appointed by the municipality. The municipality then chooses a party from those bids and ‘provisionally’ awards them the property. Both parties then sign the leasehold agreement, and the General Provisions of Perpetual Annual Lease of 2016 (Algemene Bepalingen van Eeuwigdurende Erfpacht 2016) are applied. The decision is finalised after a satisfactory integrity screening, a positive decision from the council and the expiry of any financial commitments. Because there have been few transactions up until now, we are not yet able to properly assess the differences between the properties that are being sold under the General Terms and Conditions of Continuous Annual Lease of 2000 (Algemene Voorwaarden van Voortdurende Erfpacht 2000) and the General Provisions of Perpetual Leaseholds of 2016 (Algemene Bepalingen van Eeuwigdurende Erfpacht 2016). The municipality’s properties on offer are listed here: https://aanbodvastgoed.amsterdam.nl/.
Compared to a year ago, the number of properties sold in Amsterdam has fallen sharply on all fronts – in fact, the number of transactions hasn’t been this low in the past ten years – but the transaction prices of houses are higher across the board. According to key figures from the Municipality of Amsterdam, the number of homes built after 2000 has increased by 10% to 7,600. In the city-centre, the total supply of houses has slightly increased, but the number of homes sold has decreased from 1,190 to 970. The average price increase is slightly more than 7%, as compared to last year, with the rounded median transaction price being €545,000.