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The Netherlands Amsterdam The Netherlands Amsterdam

Amsterdam Leads the Dutch Office Market

According to figures from international real estate advisor Cushman & Wakefield, the absorption of new office space in the first three quarters of 2023 amounted to 468,000 square meters. This represents a registered transaction activity approximately one-fifth lower than at the end of the same period last year (-21.7%). 

Two-thirds of the square meters of office space leased in 2023 were located in the five largest cities, with Amsterdam being the absolute leader at 170,000 square meters. This accounts for a significant 36% of the total Dutch transaction activity. This relatively high absorption figure can mainly be attributed to the simultaneous availability of new, high-quality office spaces at strategic locations within the city. It is noteworthy that many organizations that decided to relocate to offices in Amsterdam in 2023 were already established in the city.  

Some notable shifts include ING's decision to lease 31,500 square meters in the newly developed Laanderpoort building by NSI and Philips' headquarters relocating from the Breitnertoren near Amstelstation to the currently under redevelopment PI59 building on the north side of the Zuidas (17,000 square meters). In the recently completed EDGE Stadium, the online whiteboard platform Miro signed a lease for 10,000 square meters of office space. Salesforce is moving from The Edge to EDGE Stadium, occupying approximately 6,400 square meters. Boston Consulting Group's choice to lease 7,800 square meters in The Pulse, previously based in the SOM building, further emphasizes the local nature of the Amsterdam office market. 

Compared to the pre-pandemic years of 2018 and 2019, the demand for office space this year has remained approximately half, with respective declines of 54% and 48%. The post-pandemic years of 2021 and 2022 also show significantly lower absorption figures, indicating a lasting trend in the office market, particularly towards hybrid working. While this may lead to a decrease in office occupancy rates in some cities, the broader national perspective suggests a shift in demand towards specific types of offices: high-quality, sustainable buildings in prime city center locations, with a strong focus on health and well-being. Office users prefer locations that are easily accessible and offer all possible amenities within reach. It's not just about reducing square footage but also about a different way of using that space in alternative locations. 

Currently, there is a relatively limited supply of high-quality office space available. In places where many new offices have become available almost coincidentally, there is a high level of interest from potential users. Offices that do not meet these high standards have not been seriously considered so far, leading many organizations to renew their existing lease agreements. This explains the current dominance of the five largest cities in the national office absorption, where relatively many high-quality buildings can be found. 

Jos Hesselink, Head of Research Netherlands, says, "We see clear polarization in the office market. Because companies are overwhelmingly choosing the same type of office buildings when they relocate, there is selective upward pressure on rental prices in the high-quality office space segment. This price increase comes on top of other housing and labor costs that companies have faced in the past year. They are faced with the challenge of weighing economic uncertainties such as a possible extended period of limited economic growth against the ongoing tightness in the labor market." 

With these developments, the Dutch office market seems to be entering an exciting period of change and adaptation, with a focus on high-quality, modern office spaces in strategic locations, in line with the changing needs of office users. 

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