Why did house prices increase mainly in Hardenberg and Zutphen?

Coronacrisis or not, house prices just rose steadily over the past year, as the real estate agency NVM announced this morning. But today the rise is no longer in the major western cities, but in the east of the country. Two regions stand out: in Zutphen houses became 20.5 percent more expensive in the past year, and in Hardenberg it was about 21.7 percent. The price increase in these two areas is almost twice as high as the national (11.6 percent). How come that?

According to the NVM, prices rise mainly outside the Randstad, because more and more townspeople are looking for larger and cheaper houses outside the city, especially now that work from home has been forced by the coronacrisis last year. But that is not the case in Hardenberg, a municipality near Coevorden, close to the German border. โ€œWe do not notice that many people are coming here from the Randstad,โ€ says broker and regional NVM spokesman Jeroen Hofstede. โ€œThe buyers in Hardenberg are mainly people who already live there, who come from there, and who want to live there.โ€

The only problem is: there is far too little supply in Hardenberg, and so there are many people on the few homes that will be on the market. โ€œMoreover,โ€ says Hofstede, โ€œprices are still low, especially in comparison with surrounding regions. In Kampen and Zwolle, where I work a lot, prices are already sky-high, partly because of the influx from the Randstad.โ€ In other words, the huge increase in Hardenberg is also particularly catching up with regard to the surrounding areas.

What kind of house do you buy for 209,000 euros in Amsterdam, Zutphen and Hardenberg? A selection of the offer on the Funda website:

Also in the Hanseatic city of Zutphen, ‘for seasonings and gourmets’, house prices rose significantly over the past year, by around 20.5%. In part this has to do with the fact that an expensive new construction project was delivered last year, says real estate agency Kathalijne de Wilde. โ€œDuring the previous crisis, the municipality made the sensible decision to continue with the development of the Noorderhaven, while many other projects were shut down.โ€ It‘s paying off now, with a lot of capital powerful new residents.

But a much more important reason is that a lot of people have been moving from the Randstad to Zutphen for a few years, โ€œand this trend has only intensified over the past year. Many people are now thinking: if I have worked at home over the past year, why not continue to do so in the future? And where do I get a lot of home for my money?โ€

Large anthroposophical community

In addition, it helps that Zutphen โ€œis just a lot of fun. It is a beautiful city, which is centrally located in the Netherlands, but not too close to a motorway. As a result, we stayed small and cozy, and did not become as big as Deventer or Zwolle. People who have their roots here often return with partners. Or people who come from more easterly, Twente for example, come back to live here from the Randstad, as a golden mean: still a little closer to the big city.โ€ There is also a decent anthroposophical community in the city, says De Wilde, with several primary schools and a large free secondary school. That also attracts a lot of people from the Randstad.

The main home buyers are young families, says De Wilde, โ€œover 30 people who want more peace than in the Randstad and then never leave again. And pensioners, who want to live more cheaply and lifelong, but with plenty of space.โ€

Over the past year, De Wilde has only received more requests, to find a property for potential buyers from the Randstad. There’s one risk in wait, she says. โ€œWe do want to keep it cozy and friendly. Sometimes people come to live here in the outskirts, and they start complaining about the stench when manure is applied. Then you better stay in Amsterdam.โ€