Netherlands rent prices skyrocket, especially outside large cities

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Rents in the Netherlands free sector continue to rise, especially outside the four large cities. The average rental price in the Netherlands increased by nearly 6 percent compared to a year ago, according to figures rental housing site Pararius released on Tuesday, NOS reports.

According to Pararius, more and more people are turning to relatively cheaper municipalities outside the Netherlands four major cities. In Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague, rents are rising much slower. "There is a limit to what tenants can pay. If prices come close to that limit, then the price increase will obviously diminish", Jasper de Groot of Pararius said to the broadcaster.

In Zoetermeer and Apeldoorn, rental prices were over 20 percent higher in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. In Amersfoort and Almere, rents in the free sector increased by 15 and 19 percent respectively. 

The main reason for the increasingly high rents, is the lack of housing in the Netherlands, according to the rental site. Pararius expects that the shortage on the housing market will only get worse in the coming years, making it increasingly difficult for people to find an affordable home.

This problem particularly affects people with mid-level incomes, according to Pararius. Mid-level income people earn too much for social housing, but often not enough to get a suitable mortgage, De Groot explained to NOS. "In the Netherlands, around 34 percent of homes are intended for social housing. Some 58 percent of homes are owner-occupied. That means that only 8 percent of homes are in the free-rent sector. That is of course far too little if you look at the demand."

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