THE NETHERLANDS; STABLE AND SAFE RETURNS ON THE RISE

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For the time being, the Dutch real estate sector seems largely insulated from the turmoil affecting financial markets. The low interest rate environment provides further comfort for those parts of the property market where values are looking a little stretched and arguably more vulnerable to a material shift in monetary policy.

The Netherlands occupies a pivotal position on the European continent with ease of access to the lucrative markets of Germany, France and the UK. It is also home to Europe’s largest sea port at Rotterdam. The commercial real estate sector in the Netherlands has long been a target for investors in Europe, including German pension funds, attracted by its resilient export driven economy. With a population of almost 17m the Netherlands is Europe’s most densely populated country. It has produced a highly skilled and educated workforce with a noted linguistic ability.

The country is also home to a number of leading multinational companies and has spawned internationally recognised brands. Its principle city Amsterdam is the business and financial stronghold of the country, closely followed by Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague and a wealth of real estate investment opportunities exist in the country aided by the availability of low interest rates from its competitive banking industry. The real estate investor profile is highly mixed with many investors diversifying across the commercial sector.

Holland is renowned for its innovation, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit. The Netherlands possesses a secure political environment, a trusted legal system and an abundance of natural resources. This solid foundation has created an exciting and profitable domestic market. It is unsurprising that the Netherlands consistently features as a prime destination for international real estate investment.

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International real estate investor attention continues to grow across all sectors. Within the office sector the demand is for high quality office buildings with Amsterdam continuing to be the main focus for investors. This preference for modern office buildings has led to many older office properties being converted into residential and student accommodation.

Elsewhere, consumer confidence has returned to the retail market and the sector has begun to see a stabilization of rents and forecasts for modest growth.

Small neighborhood centers, with a strong grocery anchor, are also performing well. Meanwhile there are good prospects for the hotel sector from business travelers and also from tourists attracted to the many leading cultural destinations.