Amount of empty officespace in large cities not as bad as expected

Out of the approx. 3.3 mln. m² office space on offer in the 20 largest agglomerations in the Netherlands, 2.1 mln. m² is actually standing empty. This is a little over 7 % of the total office stock. Research by NEPROM and DTZ Zadelhoff shows that the empty standing of offices doesn’t really occur in the big cities but mostly in their surrounding cities. Especially in cities such as Almere, Haarlemmermeer, Nieuwegein and Rijswijk the combination of a lot of newly built offices and a falling demand results in an unbalanced office market.

Unexpectedly fast the officemarket in the Netherlands has switched to a demand-market. At the end of 2002 there was 2,5 times more officespace for rent than was actually rented. A year before that the supply outnumbered the demand by 1,5. In a large number of urban districts, among which Amsterdam, Hoofddorp/Schiphol and Utrecht/Nieuwegein, the supply of office space largely exceeds the demand.
In their researchreport (Aanbodmonitor Kantoren 2003) NEPROM and DTZ Zadelhoff have examined which of the meters to let are actually standing empty at the moment. It turns out that mostly in the smaller cities and cities next the large cities have a higher percentage of empty offices. In Almere, Capelle a/d Ijssel, Diemen, Hoofddorp/Schiphol and Rijswijk for example, over 10 % of the supply is not in use at the moment. The four large cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) show better numbers. The city of Amsterdam has a percentage of 9 % which is significantly lower than its surrounding cities. In The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht a maximum of 5 % of its officesupply is not in use.

More and more newly built office buildings are also standing empty. Approx. 725.000 m² of the supply has recently been delivered and still has no user. Next to that a large amount of offices are still being built at the moment, 755.000 m². NEPROM and DTZ Zadelhoff expect that when these square meters are also delivered in the coming months, the empty standing of offices will increase.

The report further shows that these empty standing- and let-problems mostly concern largescale and more expensive officebuildings. For the smaller and high-quality offices with sufficient parkingspaces it is easier to find a tenant.

Source: NEPROM / DTZ Zadelhoff

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