Housing Survey 2020

Key findings

The survey took place in 2020, and has been designed to update the data collected by ICAP in 2017. In total, 1,660 people took part in the survey, of these 691 lived in Amsterdam. A further 203 lived in the wider Amsterdam region, taking the total AMA residents to 894.

  • 30% of the survey’s respondents lived in official short-stay accommodation paid for by their employer when they arrived, but 94% get no help with permanent housing costs.
  • Almost half the respondents had gross monthly household income of at least €5,000, but 18%had an income of less than €3,000, the social housing limit.
  • Seven in 10 of AMA’s international residents say it was hard to find a permanent place to live because of the lack of choice in their price category.
  • Almost one quarter of new arrivals said they did not understand the housing regulations.
  • 18% share a home with one or more other person (non-family).
  • 40% of tenants would like to buy a property; half say it would be cheaper than renting.
  • 18% of the AMA’s internationals buy a home within one year of arrival.
  • Commuting to work is most important for tenants and homeowners in deciding where to live.
  • There is a major mismatch between the rent people pay and what they say they can realistically afford. 33% are paying €1,500-€2,000 in rent, but only 16% say they can afford topay this amount.
  • Over half of tenants and people who moved to the Netherlands within the past three years said commuting time to work is the most important aspect of deciding where to live, compared with 38% of homeowners.

Some recommendations

  • Continue to provide realistic and visible information about how the housing market works and what is available to internationals.
  • Continue to encourage housing corporations to target the international community with midmarket rentals. Involve housing corporations in discussions about housing.
  • Encourage the MVA to more actively promote its ‘expat’ keurmerk, with a clear explanation of what it means.
  • Continue to work towards developing a realistic approach to housing international workers when they arrive. Both short-stay rental apartments and flat sharing have been key in helping new arrivals settle in and find a permanent home.
  • Make combating fraud and scams a priority.