Six percent of Dutch homes officially unoccupied

Six percent of Dutch homes officially unoccupied

On 1 January 2010, the Dutch housing stock included more than 7 million dwellings, of which 417 thousand (just under 6 percent) were vacant. These houses are officially registered as unoccupied according to Statistics Netherlands.

Nearly 80 thousand dwellings are unfit for habitation, because they are used for other purposes, e.g. day care centres, medical practices, etc. or holiday homes owned by people who do not live in the Netherlands. Nearly 50 thousand cannot be identified as (un)occupied , because their registration is ambiguous.

Altogether, 290 thousand dwellings are officially registered as unoccupied. These dwellings are often located in tourist areas, like the West Frisian Islands and other seaside resorts. On the West Frisian Island of Schiermonnikoog, nearly 11 percent of houses are vacant. Part of these houses are holiday homes.

The vacancy rate is also high in larger town centres. Many empty dwellings are located above shops. Renovation is often unattractive for these house owners, because it is too expensive and also because such houses often have no separate entrance, but can only be accessed through the shop.

The number of unoccupied houses totals 290 thousand; 110 thousand are owner-occupied and 180 thousand are tenant-occupied. Approximately half of unoccupied houses are owned by housing corporations. These houses are empty, for example, because they are awaiting demolition. Lastly, a certain amount of vacant dwellings is convenient, because a period of at least 1 to 2 months is always required to move.

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