A six-bedroom, five-bathroom home that’s a “work of art you can live in.”
†4.15 MILLION (3.95 MILLION EURO)
Designed by the Dutch architect Erick van Egeraatwhose projects include museums, government buildings and residential towers around the world, this six-bedroom, five-bathroom House is located just east of the center of Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands.
“The house is a work of art that you can live in,” says Leslie DT de Ruiter, managing partner of R365|Christie’s International Real Estate in Rotterdam, the listing agent. “It is very unusual for an architect with this famous name to build a private home. It’s like hiring a three-star chef to cook a meal.”
Known for his surreal flourishes, Mr van Egeraat topped the 5,306-square-foot house with an undulating, thatched roof whose supporting beams protrude “like eyelashes coming out of the house,” Mr De Ruiter said. He also designed the rooms with different ceiling heights and window shapes, so the owner had custom furniture made to match the dimensions. While that furniture is not included in the sale, “the owner could talk about it,” Mr De Ruiter said.
A light-filled entrance hall opens into an airy living/dining room with 20 foot sloped ceilings, arched windows and sloping walls. A wooden sliding door separates the dining room and the Gaggenau-equipped kitchen, where the center island has a sink and built-in hob. “The kitchen would make a professional chef jealous,” said Mr De Ruiter. “The owners didn’t consider the cost when it was designed.”
The main level also has a room that the owner used as an office and library, and a second room that became his wife’s painting studio. Both rooms reflect the curved lines and oversized windows of the great room.
Upstairs, three en-suite bedrooms have dramatically sloping ceilings, slanted built-ins and striking windows. Two have a balcony. The master suite’s bathroom has a full-sized soaking tub and a long, flat sink under cabinets hidden behind sliding doors.
The lower level of the house has a family room, an en-suite bedroom and a kitchen. In addition to a media room, this floor includes a “professional spa, with a sauna and steam room,” and a terraced back patio, Mr de Ruiter said. A geothermal pump heats the house, he added, “so heating costs are low.”
Rotterdam, with approximately 655,000 inhabitants in the province of South Holland, is home to the busiest port in Europe, along with offices for companies such as Shell and Unilever. “It is the only city in the Netherlands that actually has a skyline,” says Remko Schrijver, owner of the RE/MAX real estate agency in Rotterdam.
This home is located about five miles outside the city center in an affluent area known as the Golden Mile, once a bucolic landscape of small homes on large lots. “Those houses have been replaced by large ones and there is almost no land left to build on,” says Mr De Ruiter. Rotterdam-The Hague Airport is located approximately 16 kilometers northwest.
Due to the pandemic, a confluence of rising demand, shrinking inventories and low interest rates has pushed property prices across the Netherlands to record highs, according to Carola de Groot, senior housing market economist at the Dutch financial services firm. Rabobank† “People can borrow more and buy more,” she said. As a result, “about 80 percent of homes sold above their asking price last year.”
Now that interest rates are rising and the war in Ukraine is putting pressure on the Dutch economy, the market is starting to cool down – a bit. “In January 2022, house price growth was 21.1 percent year over year. In March, it fell to 19.5 percent. So it is slightly less overheated, but still far from normal,” says Mrs. de Groot.
In the center of Rotterdam, where apartments make up more than 90 percent of the housing stock, “you would see 70 or 80 people queuing to see basic apartments offered for 300,000 euros,” says Ploni F. Bouman- de Wolf, owner of the Bouman Real Estate employment agency in Rotterdam. “There are simply too many buyers for too few homes.”
Rising bank rates haven’t dampened demand, she added: “Buyers are just changing their searches, so more of them are competing for cheaper homes.”
Rotterdam is bisected by the Maas. Neighborhoods north of the river, including Kralingen, Hillegersberg and Schiebroek, tend to be more affluent. But the housing shortage has led to significant development on the south side, “known as a working-class neighbourhood,” said Ms Bouman-de Wolf. In addition to the conversions from terraced houses to multi-family housing, there will be “modern buildings,” she said, promising a further transformation of the area’s character.
According to Ms De Groot, increases in Rotterdam “follow the national pattern of accelerating price growth”. In the first quarter of 2022, prices in Rotterdam rose year on year by 19 percent to an average of 420,000 euros, Rabobank reports.
Ms. Bouman-de Wolf estimated average prices at about 3,000 to 5,000 euros per square meter ($300 to $500 per square foot) for apartments, “depending on location”, and 5,000 to 12,000 euros per square meter ($500 to $500). 1,200 per square foot). ) for detached houses, depending on the size of the plot and proximity to one of the lakes in the area. Mr. Schrijver of RE/MAX added that detached homes cost up to 7,500 euros per square meter, “and more for a home on the water.”
Mr De Ruiter of Christie’s, who specializes in luxury real estate, said his end to the market has risen, with the number of Rotterdam homes sold for more than a million euros doubling in the past five years. In May the Dutch News website reported that the Netherlands now has 143,000 homes worth more than a million euros – almost 10 times more than in 2013.
Dutch Association of Estate Agentsthe Dutch real estate association, reported that the national median price for an apartment rose to 4,497 euros per square meter in the first quarter of 2022, while the median price for a detached house rose to 3,817 euros per year. square meter ($380 per square foot).
“Rotterdam has risen, but the prices in Amsterdam can be double,” says Nathalie de Widt, owner of the Rotterdam Apartments real estate company.
Who buys in Rotterdam
Although immigrants more than half of the population of this port city, “90 percent of the buyers’ pool in Rotterdam is Dutch”, says Sebastiaan van der Velden, managing partner at Kolpa van der Hoek | Sotheby’s International Realty in Rotterdam. “Foreigners who usually come to rent.” Some business transfers may seem like buying after renting for a year or two “and seeing how expensive it is,” he said.
“The fact is that the high earners in Rotterdam have a Dutch language,” says Mr. Schrijver of RE/MAX. The foreign buyers he has seen recently come from Ukraine, Moldova and Poland. “We don’t see too many Asian buyers,” he said.
growing presence of multinational companies in Rotterdam has also attracted “highly skilled workers from India”, said Ms de Widt. American buyers are less common, she said. “When they come, they’re with families, looking for really big houses, in areas with good schools.”
There are no restrictions for foreign buyers in the Netherlands, says Ingomar Souren, a real estate lawyer at the United States firewood law firm in Rotterdam.
Notaries oversee real estate transactions. After agreeing on the price, the buyer and seller sign a purchase agreement that the buyer can dissolve within three days, after which the purchase is binding, according to Mr. Souren. Once the contract is finalized, a notary does due diligence on the property, executes the sale agreement, and records the deed on behalf of the new owner. The notary fees can be as much as about 1,500 euros ($1,605), he said.
Foreign buyers have easy access to mortgages through Dutch lenders, says Peter Klaassen, senior manager tax advice at the Rotterdam office of the global accounting firm BDO† “It’s up to you and the bank,” he said.
Due to the housing shortage, the Rotterdam city council has passed laws discouraging foreigners from buying rental properties in the city, with higher property transfer taxes and capital gains taxes.
Languages and currencies
Dutch; euros (1 euros = $1.05)
Taxes and Duties
Buyers in the Netherlands pay 2 percent transfer tax and no VAT, “on the condition that you will live in the property you are buying”, according to Mr Klaassen. “If you buy to rent out, your transfer tax will go up to 8 percent if you get permission from the municipality.” That figure will rise to 10.1 percent by 2023, he said.
To help starters on the housing market, the government has exempted home buyers under the age of 35 from the transfer tax of 2 percent on purchases up to 400,000 euros in 2021 (that amount will increase to 440,000 euros in 2023). The exemption also applies to foreign buyers, “as long as you can confirm in writing that the house is your main residence”, according to Klaassen.
And while buyers in the Netherlands don’t pay capital gains tax on resale, that’s expected to change. The Dutch government has proposed 2025 capital gains tax reforms aimed at “reducing demand from private investors,” according to a report by the Dutch bank. ING†
The real estate commissions in the Netherlands amount to an average of 1 to 2 percent of the purchase price, according to Mr. De Ruiter, adding that the annual real estate tax on this house is about 2,768 euros.
Leslie D.T. de Ruiter, R365|Christie’s International Real Estate011-31-10-22-508-22,