Environmental Data Compendium
64 factsheets about the environment
Spatial developments

Unoccupied dwellings, 2013

On 1 January 2013, more than 390 thousand homes in the Netherlands were unoccupied. This is 5 percent of all housing in the country. Four percent of one-family houses and eight percent of multi-family dwellings (apartments) were unoccupied.

Five percent of dwellings unoccupied

Nearly 392 thousand of the total 7.4 million homes in the Netherlands were vacant on 1 January 2013; this is 5.3 percent of homes. According to official registers, nobody lives in these dwellings.

High non-occupancy rates in tourist areas

Many unoccupied dwellings are located in tourist areas such as the Frisian Islands and other coastal resorts. Some of these homes are probably rented out as holiday accommodation. The Frisian Island Schiermonnikoog is notable in this respect: 23 percent of homes on this island are unoccupied. Noord-Beveland (20 percent) and Sluis (19 percent) follow in second and third place. Of the cities, Maastricht (9.8 percent) and The Hague (9.2 percent) have the highest non-occupancy rates.
Flevoland is the province with the lowest share of unoccupied dwellings (4.0 percent), Zeeland the province with the largest share (8.8 percent).

Relatively many homes vacant in private rent

Private landlords operate 990 thousand rental homes; just over 130 thousand - 13 percent - of these are not officially occupied. The rates of non-occupancy of rental homes vary from 2.5 percent in Lingewaard to 40 percent in Schiermonnikoog. In the four largest cities The Hague has the highest rate (17 percent), followed by Amsterdam (15 percent), Utrecht (13 percent) and Rotterdam (12 percent.).
Housing corporations rent out dwellings as soon as possible after the departure of the previous tenants. The high demand for cheaper housing among first-time occupants probably contributes to this; only 3.5 percent of corporation rental housing is unoccupied.
Fewer than 150 thousand own homes were unoccupied (3.6 percent).
Rental dwellings account for 54 percent of all unoccupied housing, and own homes for 37 percent. For the remaining 9 percent, it is not clear to which sector they belong.

Oldest and newest dwellings more likely to be unoccupied

Homes built before 1945 and after 2005 are most likely to be unoccupied (8.0 percent and 8.5 percent respectively). For apartments built in this period, non-occupancy was even 11.9 percent and 11.5 percent respectively. Dwellings built in the period 1985-2004 have a non-occupancy rate of only 3.7 percent.

Relatively more empty apartments than houses

Non-occupancy rates are relatively high for apartments: 210 thousand or 8.1 percent of the total number of apartment. In provinces Zeeland (12.9 percent), Limburg (11.3 percent) and Drenthe (10.9 percent) more than one tenth of apartments uninhabited.
The rate is lower for one-family houses: 182 thousand are unoccupied, 3.7 percent of all one-family houses. Again Zeeland tops the list (7.9 percent not occupied), followed by Friesland (4.6 percent).

References

Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Unoccupied dwellings, 2013 (indicator 2165, version 03 , 26 September 2014 ). www.environmentaldata.nl. Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.