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Office market Amsterdam

Amsterdam is likely to suffer negative consequences from the limited supply of available office space. In recent years, many vacant office buildings have been successfully transformed into homes and hotels. As a result, the supply has dropped from 1.2 million square meters to 470,000 square meters in three years. This limited supply is not enough to meet the growing demand for office space from the services sector.
Only a handful of offices available
Companies with more than 100 employees use on average at least 1,500 sqm of office space. The supply in this category is rapidly declining. In 2015, 172 offices with this size were available in Amsterdam. This number has now dropped to 95. This may seem sufficient, but that’s not the case. Not all of these buildings meet the requirements for new office space of today’s tenants: open, modern, well located and sustainable. The result is that a only handful of options remain.

In 2023 there’s a mandatory energy label C requirement for offices. Companies will hardly be interested moving to an office which still needs investments in sustainable features in the next five years. Taking this into account, only 23 office spaces are available.

For companies with more than 250 employees, it is even more difficult to find a suitable office space. They are looking for an area of at least 3,750 sqm. In this category, the supply has dropped from 72 offices in 2015 to 42 offices now. This scarcity is almost forcing companies to extend their rent or go and look for alternative housing outside the city such as in Amstelveen, Hoofddorp or even outside the region in Utrecht, Rotterdam or The Hague.

In addition, we are on the eve of major sustainability investments in office buildings in the Netherlands. This means that companies have to look for another accommodation during these renovations. Companies might have to move outside of the city which endangers the city’s economic potential.

Guaranteed housing for larger companies
The concept of “guaranteed housing” is essential to attract potential large companies to settle in Amsterdam. The European Medicines Agency for example, almost didn’t choose to locate in Amsterdam due the uncertainty about an available office location. This type of guarantee should also be applied to other organizations that contribute to the economy of the city and the country. The municipality and province would do well to tender the development of new office building as soon as possible. This will allow new office space to be offered to companies that would like settle inside the city walls.

In addition, the municipality should also looks at new locations where office buildings can be constructed. With the new metro line North/South, a location such as “Buikslotermeer” fits perfectly within existing policy. The “Marineterrein” on city island “Kattenburg” can become a campus for creative startups and fintechs.