In recent years Amsterdam house prices have increased significantly to the point where buying in the city centre has become unaffordable for many.
The inner canal ring of Amsterdam is certainly known for its fine houses owned originally by wealthy merchants. De Gouden Bocht (Golden Ring) on Herengracht has always been the most prestigious area in Amsterdam and house price data even goes back to the early 17th century. Today, many of the inner canal houses are used only as commercial office space.
Amsterdam Property Value Map 2013-2019
The Amsterdam city council publishes an annual property map with data on house price sales going back to 2002. What is fascinating to see is the explosion of prices in the last 7 years.
We have put together an animation of the Amsterdam house sale prices from 2013 to 2019:
The colours on the map represent the property value sales price per square metre, with most of central Amsterdam moving to darker red/brown over time.
Even relatively cheaper areas in Amsterdam such as the western suburbs (Slotermeer, Osdorp), north Amsterdam and Bijlmer (south-east) have seen marked increases.
House prices increases in Amsterdam have significantly outpaced the rise in incomes. According to the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index published in 2020 Amsterdam is highlighted as one of the cities with an elevated bubble risk.
As of Q3 2020, the median price for a house/apartment in Amsterdam is currently around €517,000 compared to €340,000 in the Netherlands as a whole. [Source: CBS Netherlands]
The following graph shows the average house price in the Netherlands has more than tripled over the last 25 years (1995 to 2020). Apart from the correction following the 2007-8 financial crisis, the trend has been significantly upwards – accelerating since 2013.
Why have Amsterdam property prices risen so dramatically?
- Amsterdam is a compact city with a limited stock of housing. Much of the property is rent-controlled social housing which means even less private sector housing. This skews the price movements more significantly.
- Amsterdam is normally a major tourist hub and was experiencing a record amount of visitors before the ‘coronavirus’ measures were introduced. There have been thousands of Amsterdam house listings on AirBnB. This AirBnB effect has attracted international landlords to invest in Amsterdam property which has allegedly pushed up prices.
- Amsterdam has seen an ongoing Brexit impact (UK leaving the European Union) where companies and institutions such as the European Medicines Agency have relocated from London to Amsterdam bringing in staff. These arriving Brexpats have caused some very recent pressure on the housing market.
- In the Netherlands mortgage interest is tax deductible and this has probably pushed up property prices countrywide. However, this policy may be removed by the Dutch government in the long term.
- It’s not just Amsterdam. Worldwide policies by central banks and governments have created huge debt levels and significant liquidity in the financial markets. This has caused asset prices in many classes to rise. Nothing is cheap anymore!
Despite the economic turmoil in 2020, the Dutch property market continues to be buoyant and it may take a while for the roaring Amsterdam housing market to cool down.
Not surprisingly, even the Amsterdam rental market is experiencing record rents. It is difficult for any new arrivals to find housing, see our guide how to find a rental apartment in Amsterdam for a few tips.
We have heard plenty of stories of people selling up their small apartments in Amsterdam and buying a house in cheaper parts of the Netherlands such as Flevoland and Noord Brabant.
Amsterdam has joined the likes of many world cities – such as London, New York, Vancouver and Hong Kong – where house prices are slipping ever further away from the majority of residents.
First published 12 April 2019, last update 11 December 2020.