The major demographic trends in the Netherlands are population growth, ageing and urbanisation. Due to the ageing of the population, the working age population (15 to 65 years of age) will start to decline from 2021 onwards. However, as the retirement age is moving up and the participation of women will continue to increase, the actual decline of the total workforce will only start in 2025.
The urban regions of the country, with their influx of student and starters, show the strongest growth and are less affected by ageing. They attract new residents due to the concentration of jobs, as well as cultural and recreational amenities. As such, the strongest economic areas in the Netherlands are becoming even more attractive.
We are also seeing an increasing number of office tenants looking for more flexibility. More and more companies are opting to accept higher rents in exchange for business premises with flexible contracts. Flex concepts currently account for a mere 2% to 3% of the total office rental market, but are growing quickly and are expected to account for some 5% to 10% of the office market in the coming five years. That share is expected to increase even more quickly in large Dutch cities. The providers of these flex contracts tend to offer a broad range of services, as well as spaces that can be used for meetings or gatherings, such as cafés, lunchrooms and meeting rooms.