30 June 2023, by Victoria Séveno

A recent investigation carried out by NOS has found that overbidding on rental properties is a growing trend in the Netherlands, with an increasing number of prospective tenants offering to pay more in order to secure housing

Tenants offer to pay higher rents in order to secure housing

Overbidding certainly isn’t a new phenomenon on the Dutch housing market: in 2021, 73 percent of homes sold went for over the asking price, with Statistics Netherlands (CBS) revealing that overbidding occurred in most municipalities. Now, however, the trend has spread to the Dutch rental market too. 

A high number of prospective tenants versus a limited supply of rental housing means estate agents and rental housing agencies have seen more house hunters offer to pay higher monthly rents in order to beat out the competition and ensure that they’re the ones signing the rental contract

“Lately it has been commonplace,” Dimitry Jansen of JLG Real Estate told NOS. “For example, an apartment had a market rent of 2.000 euros. But it was rented to someone who offered 200 euros more per month. 300 euros more has also occurred. Overbidding by about 10 percent is not unusual.”

Internationals and expats also caught up in overbidding hype

According to the article, one primary school teacher looking for an apartment in Amsterdam with his girlfriend was told by one landlord that “expats were overbidding” on the listed rental price. While the trend is particularly – and likely unsurprisingly – prevalent in Amsterdam, experts report the national housing shortage means the rental market is extremely competitive across various Dutch cities, especially those within the Randstad area. 

One rental agent based in Utrecht told NOS that “as of this year, [overbidding] has become the rule rather than the exception” in the city. Echoing what the Amsterdam landlord said, the agent stated that more often than not it was international workers who were overbidding on properties. 

The trend has also been observed in Rotterdam, The Hague, and even Eindhoven. The Dutch Housing Association (Woonbond) argues that evidence of this growing phenomenon is reason enough for the government to introduce a rent cap on all rental properties. “We have to get rid of rents that are rising due to scarcity,” a spokesperson told NOS

Thumb: oliverdelahaye via Shutterstock.com.

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