Thinking about buying an old farmhouse in the countryside instead of a house in Amsterdam? You are not alone. According to real estate agents, one in five homes in the countryside were bought by people from the big Dutch towns and cities last year – particularly from the central area known as the Randstad.
The move out of town has been ongoing for some time, but coronavirus and the switch to working from home have had an additional impact. Five years ago, just one in nine houses in the Dutch countryside were bought by people moving out of the big cities. ‘Affordable city dwellings tend to be smaller and if you are working a lot from home, you probably want an office,’ says Chiel Versteege, an advisor with MyDutchMortgage.online ‘Country homes tend to be bigger and have gardens, which are also much in demand.’
In addition, if you are only going to your place of work two or three times a week, a longer commute is not so much of an issue, he points out.
That’s not to say that an old farmhouse no more than an hour or so from Amsterdam is cheap. The average price reported by NVM estate agents was a whopping €738,000, and that is a rise of 20% on a year ago. It is also almost double the average house price in the Netherlands as a whole – which was €387,000 last year.
There are also fewer countryside properties available, the NVM says. Just 5,700 rural homes changed hands last year, compared with 8,381 in the year before.
NVM members also sold a number of working farms last year – including 74 dairy farms with large amounts of land. So if you fancy changing your career to match your move to the countryside – there are other options open as well!