A future-proof Amsterdam office market
1 The Question
The office market is currently in a period of transition. On the one hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in hybrid working being fully embraced by office-based organizations. On the other hand, the current uncertain market conditions due to sharply increased construction costs, uncertainty about the availability of materials and price increases are leading to (potentially) negative sentiment in the office market. In addition, broader, structural spatial-economic and societal challenges play a role, such as the 'war for talent', housing shortage and sustainability that affect office development and office market dynamics.
In this light, the City of Amsterdam has asked us to examine the expected developments in the Amsterdam office market by clarifying, quantifying and substantiating the (possible) effects of the uncertain market conditions and hybrid working and then projecting them onto the Amsterdam context. On the one hand, this involves testing the policy context:
- Office Plan 2019-2026: target numbers for adding offices for the most important Amsterdam office locations, including Amstel, Centrum, East, North, Sloterdijk, West & Nieuw-West, Zuidas and Southeast.
- Office strategy 2017: planned stock of offices of approximately one million m² for Amsterdam.
On the other hand, this involves testing the local context of current and future initiatives in the Zuidas, Southeast, Schinkelkwartier and Haven-Stad work locations.
2 The Approach
- Qualitative office market analysis: identify qualitative trends and developments in the post-COVID office market and then project these onto the Amsterdam office market to simulate and quantify their effects.
- Quantitative office market analysis: simulating the demand forecast for the Amsterdam office market and office locations and determining the corresponding required plan supply and then comparing this with the target numbers and plan supply from the policy context in order to test its sustainability.
- Office location analysis: translate the results of the previous analyses to the four office locations to test current and future initiatives regarding office developments for feasibility.
3 The Result
The research we conducted gave the City of Amsterdam the following results:
- Insight into how the post-COVID office market will move in the Netherlands and Amsterdam.
- Assessment of the sustainability of the two administrative policy documents (Office Plan and Office Strategy) on the basis of the plan stock of approximately one million m² (Office Strategy) and target figures per office location (Office Plan), calculating the shortage or surplus for the entire Amsterdam office market and per office location.
- Recommendations regarding current and future office development initiatives in the four office locations.
The research results served as input for the Monitor Kantoren Amsterdam, presented to the board in the fall of 2022, as well as for the possible recalibration and/or renewal of the Office Strategy and the Office Plan.