Published May 23, 2024

What to expect on the Dutch rental market

You can't start a new Dutch life without a home! And with a market that is tight and competitive, we will do our upmost best to prepare you for what is to come. The Dutch housing market also requires some necessary preparations and expectation management, so let us prepare you for what you can expect when you start your home search!

Many people, few homes

First and foremost, it's important to know that the Netherlands is a densely populated country. Despite not having a very large surface area, it has a population density of around 529 inhabitants per square kilometer. In the Randstad - the countries' leading economic region - this number even reaches around 5,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. In total, the Netherlands has around 17.5 million inhabitants (and counting). 

The assumption might be that a large population corresponds to abundant housing. However, this is not the reality, as there is a housing shortage in the Netherlands. The demand for homes exceeds the available supply. Currently, the Netherlands faces a shortage of about 300,000 homes. How did this happen? The simple way to explain this is that in recent years, not enough homes have been built. Additionally, new government measures have made renting out a home less profitable, reducing the availability of rental homes in the private (non-government) sector. As a result, home prices have increased massively. The price of a rental home has risen by about 8.5% in the past year. In the Randstad the prices increased the most. 

What to expect when you start your search? 

Does this mean it's nearly impossible to find a home in the Netherlands? Absolutely not, but it does provide an insight into why it can be challenging to find a place to live. Typically, it takes longer than you might expect to find a home. Therefore, it's crucial to start your search well on time, and by on time, we really mean on time. The minimum time for finding a home in the Randstad is now 6 weeks. Due to the housing shortage, the average newly rental home can count on around 18 responses from homeseekers. In big cities like Amsterdam, this amount goes up to an average of 34 responses. The competition in the housing market is high, making it essential to respond to a property as quickly as possible.

Also, living in the Netherlands can be a costly matter. For rental properties, new tenants paid an average of €18.01 per square meter in the last quarter of 2023 (source: Pararius Rental Monitor Q4 2023). Rental agents often require 3 to 4 times the basic rent as a (gross) income requirement, so be aware that you must earn enough to qualify for a rental property. Usually, the income requirement and any other prerequisites are stated with the property listing. 

How to begin with your search for a property in The Netherlands?

Start by determining where you want to live and what type of property you are looking for. If, for example, you'll be working in Amsterdam, decide whether you're willing to pay the high prices to live there. You might also consider living just outside the city, where rental prices are often slightly lower. What type of property and environment do you need? Are you living alone, moving in with a partner, or will children be joining? In that case, it's essential to consider nearby amenities, such as schools.  

Read more about finding your home in The Netherlands.

Find your home faster with Pararius+

Pararius is the number one leading rental platform in The Netherlands. Pararius was developed by real estate brokers that are expat rental specialists. With our knowledge and insights of the rental market, we understand that it can be hard to find a rental home in The Netherlands. That's why we've developed an additional service: Pararius+, which will notify you about new properties instantly. You will also know your chances and have a complete overview of all your responses. Start your home search now!

Start your home search!