Never have so many hotels changed hands in Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht as in 2018. The number of hotel transactions in these three cities doubled. Currently 21% of hotel sales in the Netherlands are taking place here against only 11% in 2016. , according to new a hotel market study of real estate advisor Colliers International.

There are two prime causes for this increased interest from investors: the number of investment opportunities in Amsterdam is contracting, while expanding tourism in Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht is leading to those cities’ hotels performing better financially.

Less investments due to hotel moratorium
Amsterdam’s flourishing hotel market has led to a high number of transactions over recent years. In 2016, 40% of all hotels sold were in Amsterdam. Last year, this dropped to just 23%, with the main cause being the moratorium on new hotel construction. 

Although around 7,500 hotel rooms are still going to be added, over the longer term the measure means that fewer new hotels will be built. Investment opportunities will therefore be provided
principally by existing hotels. Hotel owners appear to be reluctant to sell their properties due to their good financial results, or they are only willing to sell at historically high prices. 

Jules van Gaalen, director hotel transactions: “This development can put a damper on innovation. Consumer demands are changing rapidly and it’s essential that the municipality act accordingly to remain an attractive destination.”

Growing tourism is changing Dutch investment landscape
Tourism in Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht is growing fast. And with it, the number of overnight stays. Hotels with international appeal are being developed which is changing the perception of the three cities as investment markets as a whole.

“We expect this trend to continue in 2019 and more hotels outside the capital will be sold,” adds Van Gaalen. “Also smaller investment markets such as Hoofddorp, Zaandam, Amstelveen, Breda, Eindhoven and Leiden could be of interest to investors.”