According to Savills, lease renewals accounted for 32% of the Dutch office leasing markets in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague in 2009, compared to 14% in 2008. The international real estate advisor states that existing tenants are postponing relocation in an effort to focus on cost saving, whilst new tenants are taking advantage of incentives offered by landlords.
Within the four office markets 18 of the 30 largest transactions recorded in 2009 were lease renewals but following a slow start to the year, Q4-09 saw a significant rise of 50% for new lettings when compared to the first three quarters of the year with BinckBank and Simmons & Simmons taking space in Amsterdam.
Jeroen Jansen, head of research for Savills Netherlands, comments: "Office users are focusing on cost saving and in many cases cancelling relocation programmes. This has allowed them to renegotiate leases on favourable terms as landlords are keen to prevent voids. The incentives offered have risen by up to 25% in some areas and this has allowed rental prices to remain stable."
In 2009 the Dutch economy shrunk by an unprecedented 4% and this steep decline has also been visible in both office take-up and investments figures. In the leasing markets overall reductions in transaction volumes recorded as much as -50% in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with -19% and -13% in Utrecht and The Hague respectively. In terms of investment, full year office transactions accounted for 53% of the total investment market and stood at 640 million, with 180 million recorded in the past quarter alone. Amsterdam and Rotterdam took by far the largest investment share.