Overseas property investors are flocking to Rotterdam as they leave behind the Netherlands’ overpriced capital to find new investment opportunities.
Rotterdam has lived in the shadow of vibrant capital city Amsterdam for many years. However, increasing private and public investment has been poured into the second city, propelling it into a new hotspot.
Mortgage advisor at Expat Mortgages, Richardo Cruz Fortes, once described Rotterdam as the ‘sleeping giant’ for having everything that a large city can offer but never quite reaching the heights of Amsterdam. Expat Mortgages has been expanding its offices across the Netherlands as demand for housing outside of simply the capital has risen. The firm opened a Rotterdam branch in 2018, marking a sign that expat investors are becoming increasingly enticed by the city.
Rotterdam is already an established business hub, and is hosting the headquarters of big players such as Robeco, Eneco, Van Oord and Shell Downstream, and Unilever’s Dutch operations. It is also home to several centres of innovation and excellence, such as the TUDelft and Erasmus University.
Tourism in the area is also booming. Visitor numbers rose by 18 per cent between 2017 and 2018, fueled by the museums, nightlife and modern architecture.
The cost of living in the area is also far lower than Amsterdam which could be ideal for expats on a lower budget. There is an estimated cost of living which stands at 11 per cent lower than Amsterdam.
Fortes explained ‘I’m an Amsterdam guy myself. I lived there my whole life, but you need to step out of the bubble … to see the potential of living in another city with all the same facilities that Amsterdam has. More and more people are considering Rotterdam as a better opportunity for a family to live.’
There is a vast supply of housing available in Rotterdam, meaning that there is more choice and less competition for those bidding on a house.
East of the centre is the upscale neighbourhood of Kralingen which boasts smart villas, leafy streets and boating lake. This area is particularly popular with expats.
Another option is the Blijdorp district, an up and coming area best known for its zoo.
For those seeking a quieter life, Hillegersberg is an option, a green area with lakes and green spaces.
Katendrecht, located on the south bank of the Nieuwe Maas river, has been redeveloped and is now a cultural spot with impressive restaurants.
However, a huge tip for overseas property investors is to head south, where a new stadium, music hall and conference centre demonstrate the huge investment due in the area.