‘The Houthavens: a striking addition to the city’
In the past year a lot has been written and said about the housing market in Amsterdam: increasing prices, Airbnb, investors buying up the city and the arrival of foreign companies and their employees who are also looking for housing. Both nuanced reports and complete nonsense have been spread around – mostly via (social) media – and West Amsterdam is no exception to this.
Since 2013, housing prices have been increasing with at least 15% each year. Part of this can be explained as a catch-up after the crisis, and the other part is due to an increasing demand. Because of the flywheel effect, prices are incredibly high.
On the West side of the Vondelpark, prices vary between €6,500 and €8,500 per m2, in Bos and Lommer between €5,000 and €6,500. Due to the enormous demand and the big shortage of houses, prices continue to rise.
The only part of West Amsterdam where new developments are still being built is the Houthavens. This striking addition to the city forms the borough’s flagship. The area consists of seven islands. Block 0 is already completely inhabited. The other projects are currently being sold, built, or finished. The eye-catching Pontsteiger is the entrance to the Houthavens. This area will eventually consist of about 5,500 homes, a hotel, a school, and other amenities.
Like in all the previous decennia, families are leaving the city, which is an often-debated issue. It happens in West Amsterdam, too. This is a logical consequence of the demographic composition of the city. West Amsterdam has many pre-war tenement houses, which are often inhabited by young people, single people or couples. At some point, they generally move in with their partners, have children, the houses become too small and the occupants want to move on. Due to the high yields of their houses, they have ample choice; South East Amsterdam, New West Amsterdam, IJburg, Haarlem and its surroundings, or ‘t Gooi. Many choose for Haarlem or ‘t Gooi, because of their status, safety or living environment. What’s striking in the research is the fact that migrant families do stay in Amsterdam. Apparently, they don’t feel the need to find a home outside of the city. These families choose from beautiful new developments in New West, North or South East Amsterdam. Do the above arguments somehow not apply to them?
After all, we can’t keep building single-family homes inside the Ring.
MVA estate agent Anton van Klooster, Hallie & Van Klooster Makelaardij.
West Amsterdam is a borough of the Municipality of Amsterdam formulated in 2010. It is a merging of the earlier boroughs Oud-West, Westerpark, De Baarsjes and Bos and Lommer. West Amsterdam’s population was 142,728 in 2015, on a surface area of almost 10 km2.