List price, actual price?

Hello community!

I hope you are doing great! I am looking to move to the Netherlands in 2024, set a budget for the rent of €1500 pm.

Speaking with some relocation agencies, they told me that the budget is too low, I won't be able to find anything at that price and I should be looking at €1750 for Amsterdam, which sounds absurd, also because I have friends in Amsterdam that rent for much less. Let me specify that I'm not looking for anything fancy, one bedroom, unfurnished is acceptable and I'm fine living in the outskirt of Amsterdam.

When flagging to the agency that there are properties on Funda listed for €1300/1400 they told me that in reality, properties get rented out for more of the list price. For example a property listed at €1400 is rented for €1700.

Does anyone have direct experience renting recently and faced a similar scenario, or have you heard this before?

I am putting together all the budgets for the move and I need to understand if €1500 is a fair budget or do I have to reconsider it?

Thanks in advance. Peace!

Hi, thanks for your question.

The market for apartment rentals in Amsterdam is extremely competitive for a number of reasons-

  • There's a lot of people getting relocated into Amsterdam and to other cities in the Netherlands due to favorable income tax benefits
  • It's an English-speaking-friendly city
  • There's still quite a bit of refugees coming into the country and they need to be settled
  • While the Netherlands is working hard to build more housing stock, demand is still outstripping supply.

I was told by one of the firms I worked with that the Amsterdam housing market isn't as simple as the number of places to rent vs those that want to rent. A certain percentage of homes are legally required to be sub-market priced for low wage workers (and the aforementioned refugees), and even then rental units are often transferred into condos, or the other way around. Finally since there's other forms of rent control in the city, people often rent places long term so there isn't as much housing churn.

It's been a year since the last time I was looking for a place, but I'd say even for a 1 bedroom $1500 is pretty low It really depends on what size place you are looking for, where in the city you want to live, what amenities you want (if you are okay living on the 4th floor of a place that doesn't have an elevator you are gonna pay less than if you want a new place, etc). There's certainly areas that are a quick commute into Amsterdam like Diemen, Hoofdorp, Almere, etc where money goes a lot further. You'll also pay more for places closer to transit/shopping areas than further away.

You can certainly do some checking of prices yourself on Pararius or Funda, but I'm happy to provide more insight if needed. One thing to note when looking for apartments, some will say 'unfurnished' when they mean it comes with no flooring and no curtains, not just no furniture. Read the fine print on those. I think with Pararius those are listed as 'Shell' in English, vs 'Upholstered' which would be a standard 'unfurnished' place by my (American) definition. Happy house hunting!

@3Josh thanks for your reply. So what you are saying is that properties listed on Funda for €1400 are actually rented for more?

@3Josh thanks for your reply. So what you are saying is that properties listed on Funda for €1400 are actually rented for more?

They can be. I haven't seen it personally, but I was turned down once or twice for apartments when I was in an excellent position to get them, so it's certainly possible that I was out-bid. in the 'free market' sector of housing, outbidding other people isn't illegal, and there's some examples out there if you google. This happens in a lot of cities worldwide where such a thing is legal.

Okay thanks for letting me know. It looks as though the government is passing a law to regulate the mid-market from January 2024. If so, it would be illegal to rent out a property for more than it's actual value, but this is a conversation for another time.