Economy - Figures

Construction and housing

In 2018, 1.79 million Dutch inhabitants moved home. This is 5 percent less than in 2017. The number of house moves among people aged 30 to 64 years has shown a rising trend since 2013. An exception are the 17 to 21‑year-olds, who moved less often. This was due to changes in student finance – with loans replacing grants – taking effect in 2015. Furthermore, the number of persons moving home was higher in 2018 than in the period 2006–2008, the previous period of economic upturn.

Last year, the number of house moves was mainly up among unmarried couples without children and married couples with children, by over 7 percent in both groups. During the crisis years, young families had been unable to carry out moving plans; this changed as of 2013, leading to an upsurge in house moves. The number dropped in 2018 with the likely reason that most families who wanted to move during the crisis had already done so. At the same time, the housing market has faced growing shortages.

The average floor space available per person in the Netherlands amounts to 65 square metres. There are large differences between regions and the available living area per household type. The average space per person is generally smaller in the Randstad conurbation than elsewhere. The smallest living space is found in the larger cities; in Amsterdam, the average is 49 square metres per person.

On 1 January 2018, the Dutch housing stock comprised 7.7 million dwellings; 42 percent were tenant-occupied, of which nearly 70 percent were owned by a housing association and the remainder owned by private companies, institutional and private investors. Relatively the highest shares of tenant-occupied homes are found in the municipalities of Amsterdam (70 percent), Rotterdam (64 percent) and Delft (62 percent). In Rozendaal, the vast majority are owner-occupied homes.

In 2018, nearly 66 thousand new homes were built, almost 5 percent up on the previous year and the highest number since 2010. As a result, the total housing stock grew by 0.9 percent to over 7.8 million dwellings on 1 January 2019. Between 2000 and 2009, an average of around 76 thousand new homes were added to the stock each year. The low point came in 2014, when only 45 thousand new homes were delivered. This was followed by increasingly rapid growth in the three subsequent years. Even in 2018 there was year-on-year growth, albeit more slowly.

In 2012, nearly 40 thousand building permits for new-build homes were issued. This was even less in the following year at 27 thousand. The number of building permits rose steadily in subsequent years to almost 70 thousand per year in both 2017 and 2018.

In 2018, building permits were issued for nearly 70 thousand new dwellings. This is almost equal to the number in 2017. The low point came in 2013, when permits were granted for only 27 thousand homes. From then, the number of building permits increased but it has not reached the pre-crisis level yet. Between 2000 and 2008, permits were issued for 80 thousand new homes each year on average. The number of dwellings for which building permits are granted is an indicator for the number of dwellings to be built. After a permit has been granted, it takes approximately two years before the dwelling is completed.

In 2017, 7,570 dwellings were created by conversion of existing buildings such as offices, shops or factories, involving the renovation of 1,900 premises. By far the most dwellings (over 40 percent) were created by adjusting office buildings while 17 percent concerned social real estate, including schools, churches and sports halls. More than 8 percent of the dwellings that were added to the housing stock in 2017 resulted from building conversions.


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Opening page and header: © Hollandse Hoogte / Martijn Beekman

Society - Trends: © Hollandse Hoogte / Patricia Rehe

Economy - Trends: © Hollandse Hoogte / Marcel Krijgsman

Labour and income - Trends: © Hollandse Hoogte / Sabine Joosten


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