Dutch student housing shortage increases by 20% in just one year

Any international who arrives in the Netherlands has experienced the struggle of trying to find housing. It’s a battle we’ve all fought โ€” but if you were on the hunt in the past year, that battle was significantly harder.

Just how much harder? This year, there are 26,500 homes too few, the National Monitor for Student Housing revealed. This number stood at around 22,000 last year, Kences reports.

This means that in just one year, the Netherlands saw its housing shortage increase by 20%. And why? You won’t like the answer.

International students

It seems that too many internationals have decided that studying in the Netherlands is a great idea. While we can’t blame them for that decision, the report does blame international students for this increased housing shortage.

READ MORE |5 things to know about the student housing crisis in the Netherlands

The report spares no feelings, stating that the student housing shortage boils down to an increasing number of students. And where are these extra students coming from? Abroad.

Yep. According to the report, international students are “the main explanation” for this increased pressure on the student housing market.

What does this mean?

Unfortunately, nothing too good. The increase in demand has in turn resulted in an increase in housing prices. In 2021 students now spend 46% of their income on rent, this is an increase of 3% compared to two years ago. “Without the 2021 rent freeze, this effect might have been even greater,” the report claims.

READ MORE | Student housing in the Netherlands: your guide to finding a room in 2021

It also means that many Dutch students choose to live with their parents rather than facing the heat of the housing market. This in turn determines where they choose to study.

For those who do choose to brave the student housing crisis, the chance of finding a room in a house is decreasing, with more and more landlords offering studios to students. In the past nine years, the number of studios has doubled.

Why? Because this a financially attractive option for landlords. And while a studio may sound like a glamorous concept, this often leads to increased loneliness for students who are looking to make new friends while studying.

How have you been affected by the student housing crisis in the Netherlands? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Feature Image: Resi Kling/Unsplash

Sarah O'Leary ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Sarah O'Leary ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions โ€” she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. Oh have I been affected… me and my best friend have been homeless in the Netherlands and looking for an apartment for the past month with no luck. All we faced was “Dutch only”๐Ÿ™ƒ

  2. As landlords, we have noticed students getting more desperate. One final year student rented our 2-bedroom maisonette for โ‚ฌ1450 per month due to the lack of suitable accommodation in central The Hague. This property would normally be rented out to a working professional.


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