a.s.r. real estate

Affordable housing reflecting changing urban demand

ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund invests in core rental housing in the twelve economically and demographically strongest regions in the Netherlands, measured and ranked using the a.s.r. real estate Residential Filter. These areas all share a positive market outlook, although location and demand characteristics vary between them.

The different types of demand are captured in ASR DCRF’s target segments, which differentiate between target groups based on household size, age and the size and characteristics of municipalities, as shown below.

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A variety of demand is apparent in ASR DCRF’s focus segment of ‘fast urban living’, which caters to young urban professionals, families and empty nesters in larger urban areas, mainly located within the ‘Randstad’ region. While families require multiple bedrooms, empty nesters are more geared towards a larger, more comfortable living area and young urban professionals tend to focus on affordability.

As rental prices have been steadily on the rise in the Netherlands’ larger cities, especially in Amsterdam and Utrecht, shared space and co-living concepts are becoming increasingly common practice. This trend is not unique to the Netherlands and is seen in all major cities around the world, which are experiencing similar developments in terms of affordability and smaller apartments.

This changing urban demand has led to specific design and investment decisions in relation to a number of assets in the ASR DCRF portfolio. For instance, a recently completed property on Wibautstraat was converted from a former school building. The lay-out allowed for the creation of 162 apartments, 80% of which are conventional 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. However, 20% of the building’s floor area was less suited for the creation of conventional 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. Based on ASR DCRF’s target groups and investment profiles, the Fund therefore included several ‘studio’ type apartments, instead of larger units, and also introduced ‘friends’ apartments. This co-living concept caters to non-family members or partners who share a dwelling, each with their own bedroom (and sometimes amenities), but a shared kitchen and living space.

Co-living is a well-established concept, yet dwellings often lack a suitable lay-out for two non-related partners who are sharing a home. By opting for simple design changes, such as identical bedrooms and larger bathroom and kitchen storage areas, the units are perfectly suited to home sharing, although they also continue to appeal to other target groups.

Instead of creating several large apartments, the property on Wibautstraat provides space for three separate households through a studio and a friends unit, with the same floor area of a larger single apartment. This increased the number of apartments, rental income and occupancy for the Fund, as well as creating much-needed affordable housing in the city of Amsterdam. The studios range from 35 sq. m. to 45 sq. m. with rents between €800 and €900. The friends units offer two equal-sized bedrooms and a total floor area of between 60 sq. m. and 70 sq. m. with rents of €550 to €600 per person. Demand for these units has been exceptionally high.

The recently purchased assets on Cruquiuswerf in Amsterdam and Arent Krijtsstraat in Diemen both include units with lay-outs that can accommodate the friends concept. The asset on Cruquiuswerf includes friends units of 60 sq. m. to 70 sq. m. with two identical bedrooms and separate bathrooms, with rents of €550 to €600 per person. The asset in Diemen includes friends units of 70 sq. m. to 80 sq. m. with two identical bedrooms and separate bathrooms, with rents of €525 to €575 per person.

For more information on the ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund or urban housing developments in the Netherlands, please contact Robbert van Dijk or Olle Overbosch:

Robbert van Dijk
fund director
ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund
M: +31 (0)6 21 29 43 63
E: robbert.van.dijk@asr.nl

Olle Overbosch
associate Fund Management
ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund
M: +31 (0)6 30 50 68 41
E: olle.overbosch@asr.nl