Some 420,000 square metres of redundant office space was either given a new lease of life or demolished in the Netherlands last year, according to a market analysis by real estate agents’ association NVM.
But despite the coronavirus pandemic and the mounting popularity of working from home, the total amount of vacant office space in the Netherlands remained around 4.45 million square metres, NVM Business said.
In 2019, 505,000 square metres of offices were either transformed for a new function or demolished.
‘2020 certainly was special,’ said NVM Business chairman Sander Heidinga. ‘Coronavirus and measures to limit social contacts may have led to reduced demand for office space and lower investment volume, but both supply and returns remained stable… It is unclear if the wish to work from home is leading to reduced demand for office space.’
Over half (53%) of the office space which was taken off the market last year was converted in housing, 31% was demolished and 10% turned into a hotel.
In Amsterdam, for example, work on transforming the three Trinity Buildings office blocks in the Zuidoost district into 133 homes, most of which are aimed at the mid-market sector, is nearing completion.
And in The Hague, the former transport ministry office complex, a listed building, is also being transformed in housing, for both rent and sale.
The government has set a target of creating 75,000 new homes a year up to 2025, to meet demand. And including conversions – such as transforming redundant offices into apartments – the total number of new homes created in 2020 did rise to 74,565, according to national statistics agency CBS.