New research by Cushman & Wakefield, on behalf of the Holland Metropole alliance, provides tools for the Dutch Home Affairs Ministry to make the housing investment market more attractive. Improvements, the research suggests, should be based on the following four aspects: 

Level playing field: Fiscal rules and regulations should not differentiate between private and Dutch institutional investors on the one hand and international institutional investors on the other; 

Stable investment climate: Regulations, government policy and the tax regime should be both constant and predictable for a longer period, from the development to the operational phase; 

Optimal cooperation: improve lead times and permit processes to speed up development and improve the relationship between the public and private sectors, based on trust; 

Fiscal and legal measures: Research, and possibly improve, recently amended tax measures such as transfer tax, the REIT regime, and value-added tax on investments in new build, repurposing and existing buildings. 

The ministry aims to realise 981,000 new homes in the coming years to reduce the shortage of housing. This will require investment of at least €400 billion. However, interest from international institutional investors has declined in recent years. This is worrying, given the need for capital to reach targets. 

Dutch institutional investors are an important source of capital but this is not enough to meet the challenge presented by building enough affordable, mid-market rental homes. International institutional investors can have a considerable role as providers of complementary capital on the Dutch housing investment market. However, they have a choice about where to locate in Europe and this increases the need to ensure the Netherlands has a strong, distinctive profile.

The Cushman & Wakefield research analysed the wants, requirements and willingness to invest of a number of international investors. These results were then projected on the current Dutch investment climate to highlight potential improvements that would benefit the Netherlands when compared with other European housing markets. 

Cushman & Wakefield then translated this into 11 concrete, achievable determinants prioritised according to their expected impact. This selection offers the Home Affairs Ministry concrete tools to research what options are realistic and to develop a cohesive strategy to improve the investment climate for foreign residential housing investors and attract capital for the national house building programme. 

A first step has now been taken. The ministries involved are actively pursuing dialogue with the sector in structured consultations, which has already resulted in a briefing to parliament focusing on improving the climate for residential investment. This will benefit everyone involved in production chain. The scope of the research focused on the institutional market and it would be beneficial to expand it to other main players in the housing market who also have a part to play in meeting the challenge.

You can read the entire report here (Dutch).

Contact Holland Metropole

Nicolette Klein Bog

Contact Cushman & Wakefield

Barbara Voskuil-Geerlings

Senior Marketing & Communications Manager