🦜 PerchPulse - The Netherlands Market Update November 2022 🦜

A warm welcome to the November issue of PerchPeek’s Netherlands Market Monthly update! 

Here’s where you’ll find the hottest stories around employee relocation and global mobility, insights from our experts on housing and cost-of-living news affecting your staff, the latest trends in international talent strategy, and tips and tricks on ways to support your teams.

A fly-by summary

  • A full update on how employee home-finding will slow down in the festive season
  • A big drop in home prices in October means things could get extra tough for employees looking to rent a place
  • How to make sure your employees are aware of upcoming energy bill discounts
  • The impact of train service disruption and timetable cuts on employees
  • Making your staff aware of free festive fun during the cost of living challenges

 

Home-finding: Rental searches to slow down during festive season

The Festival of Sint-Maarten has been and gone, Sinterklaas is approaching, and the nights are drawing in…the festive season is upon us! As well as all the fun stuff, it can be a tricky time for house-hunters, with agencies closing for the holidays and the process generally slowing down.

If you’re supporting employees coming to the Netherlands, you can help manage their rental market expectations at this time of year with this key advice from the PerchPeek Netherlands team:

  • At this point (mid-November), movers who haven’t secured a place to live will now be looking at a January move-in date.
  • Everything will be closed on 25th - 26th December and 1st January. Businesses are also very likely to close early on 24th and 31st December.
  • It’ll be pretty much impossible to arrange property viewings between Christmas and New Year, as most agencies stay closed over this time.
  • Many agents and landlords will also be unavailable during the whole week up to Christmas, so house-hunters should aim to get organised early in December.
  • It may also be tricky to get things done in the first week in January as some agents and landlords take extra holiday - things might not get back into full swing immediately!

Home-finding: House prices see large month-on-month drop in October but remain high

Dutch house prices are starting to decline, following years of steady rises and sharper increases over the last year and a half. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), October’s house prices saw the largest month-on-month drop since 2013, and while still high, have been falling slowly over the past few months.

Real estate association NVM has named several factors driving this trend, including soaring inflation and high interest rates on mortgages. The latter means the number of mortgage applications is declining, having a knock-on effect on how prices trend in response to demand.

It’s worth noting the effects that potential stagnation in the buying market could have on renters. If fewer properties are being purchased, this adds to the pressure already being seen in the rental market, especially in major cities, where demand is massively outstripping supply.

To support home-hunting employees, it’s best to keep aware of these challenges and make allowances, like reviewing relocation packages to make sure movers have the financial freedom to stay in temporary accommodation for potentially longer periods. Plus, offering flexibility to attend viewings during work hours is super helpful - being first in the queue makes a big difference!

Cost of living: All households to receive €190 energy bill discount this month

As we enter the cold winter months and consumers are grappling with rising utility costs, a new government energy bill support measure has come into effect this month to help ease the cost-of-living strain.

All households will receive a €190 discount on utility bills in November, plus another €190 discount in December. Consumers don’t need to do anything; most energy suppliers will deduct the amount automatically from their monthly bill or make a direct debit payment to their account. 

All employees, particularly newcomers to the country, are likely to appreciate being made aware of the winter energy bill contribution. They shouldn’t have to take any action, but should flag it with their supplier if they don’t see a reduction in bills or receive a payment. 

Plus, newcomers setting up utilities will need to know that their bills until January 2023 will be significantly reduced, and from then they’ll increase to the ‘normal’ amount (with capped prices).

As there’s continued uncertainty around the future of utility costs, our advice is to review compensation and relocation support packages regularly to make sure they stay in line with the current cost of living. Any easing of financial worries is something that’ll make a massive difference to your employees!

Support your talent: Additional cuts to NS train timetables

Following months of railway service disruption, Nederlandse Spoorwegen has announced more timetable cuts as of 7th November due to ongoing severe staff shortages. This affects much of the country, with numerous weekday services between several major cities being slashed.

Another contributor to the disruption has been a series of railway strikes. PerchPeek’s experts on the ground have reported a lot more commuters on FlixBus services than normal!

For HR leads, it’s worth noting the knock-on effect these transport issues are having on staff:

  • Of course, having flexible or hybrid working policies in place is going to make a big difference to your teams’ wellbeing as well as their productivity if they have the freedom to work from home when up against unreliable public transport links. It’ll also be super helpful if office hours, if any, can be adapted in line with the current train timetables.
  • It’s having an impact on home-hunters on choosing a place to live, as they’re more concerned about living near work. Let’s take an employee transferring to their company’s Amsterdam office as an example: in the past, we’d suggest they move to The Hague for cheaper rent, but now, people are worried they won’t be able to get to the office!

It’s important to stay on top of these issues that employees are facing, and in particular for new arrivals, make sure they’re up to date on the best ways to reach the office right now. They’ll also be super grateful for the financial support to be able to use the best public transport routes.

Support your talent: Festive feels - the best Dutch Christmas markets

With the ongoing cost of living crisis, it might feel more difficult to muster up some festive cheer, especially for those newly arrived in the country. However, one way to offer support to your employees is by making them aware of cheap or even free ways to enjoy the sights of their city!

Towns and cities across the Netherlands will soon be transforming their main squares into wonderlands festooned with twinkling lights and lined with stalls selling crafts and sweet treats.

Exploring the scenes with a mug of mulled wine is a great way to boost morale, get into the holiday spirit and mix with the local community, plus a chance to pick up gifts for loved ones!

Here’s the key information on some of the biggest and brightest:

  • Valkenburg - Christmas Town, 18th Nov - 8th Jan 2023
  • Amsterdam - Winter Paradise, RAI Amsterdam, 15th Dec - 1st Jan 2023
  • The Hague - Royal Christmas Fair, Lange Voorhout, 8th - 24th Dec
  • Maastricht - Vrijthof Square & Magical Light Route, 1st - 30th Dec
  • Haarlem - City centre, 9th - 11th Dec
  • Rotterdam - Winter Fair, Ahoy Arena, 14th - 18th Dec

We hope you enjoyed this month’s update - if you ever have any feedback, comments or questions about what's going on in your location, feel free to reach out!

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

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Questions About Moving Employees or What We Do At PerchPeek?

No matter where your business is located, or how many employees you have to move, the relocation experts at PerchPeek are standing by at all times to answer any and all questions that you may have about moving and taking care of your most important business asset, your team!

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