Chapter 9: Agenda for the future
Prices are determined by three factors: location, location and location. Old real estate brokers’ maxim. This old maxim is the shortest summary imaginable for this book. Location is the one and all-deciding determinant of the price of real estate. In many parts of the Dutch countryside, a square metre of land for residential purposes yields less than EUR 20; for the most attractive bits of land in Amsterdam and The Hague, the price is a factor of 200 higher. That price difference between ‘city’ and ‘countryside’ has more than doubled in the past 20 years. The prices in the north wing of the Randstad area, around the Brabant city triangle of Breda–’s-Hertogenbosch–Eindhoven, and in the inner city of Maastricht have risen twice as fast during those years as the prices in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen or the rural areas of the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. The importance of location has only grown. It has turned out that these differences in value can be explained. The accessibility, by car or public transport, the wage level in the surroundings, the availability of amenities such as shops, bars and performing arts, the presence of a seventeenth-century city centre, or attractive natural amenities – all these factors are highly relevant to the price of a plot of land.
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