Author Archives: nkhousing

The Netherlands attract expats

The Netherlands wants to attract more talent from abroad.

The Netherlands must become a more attractive destination for talented foreign students, researchers and knowledge workers.

Knowlegde beeld

The Social and Economic Council published an advisory opinion entitled ‘Make it in the Netherlands!’, which underscores the importance of attracting and retaining talented foreign students. The government agrees with the SER that students – both international and Dutch – are a boon not only for institutions of higher education but also for the private sector and the Netherlands as a whole. The government notes, especially, that this could also result in a larger pool of skilled workers for certain sectors, like hi-tech R&D, without crowding out Dutch candidates on the labour market.

more information: Dutch News


Experience of 150 people

Ready, Steady, Go Dutch

Available in Autumn 2013, Ready, Steady, Go Dutch is a must-have resource for anyone planning on settling in the Netherlands, or who has been here a little longer. This innovative English-language publication is a handy 100-page paperback full of tips, tricks, and testimonials from expats and internationals, who have already “gone Dutch”. The book has been compiled from the experiences of some 150 people from all over the world.

Read the rest of this entry

Dutch house prices are back at end-2002 level

House prices plunge 9.6% in June and are back at end-2002 levels

Price index of existing own homes

Source: CBS, Kadaster

Source: CBS, Kadaster

House prices were down almost 10% in June, compared with June 2012, according to new figures from the national statistics office and land registry. The 9.6% price drop has taken house prices back to their end-2002 level, the CBS  says. In May, house prices were down 8.2% on the year. House prices have now fallen by more than one-fifth since August 2008, when they reached a peak. Detached homes were hardest hit in June followed by semi-detached houses. By contrast, apartments and terraced housing fell 7.5% in price.


The CBS figures are slightly more pessimistic than those published by the real estate agents’ association NVM. This is because the CBS records sales at the moment they are confirmed in the land registry documents, which is a couple of months on from signing the sales contract. The land registry office said last week that 7,224 homes had been sold in June, a drop of 55% on the year earlier period. Despite the price drop, the main mortgage lenders said recently there are signs the market may be bottoming out.

See more at: CBS and NKHousing

The Netherlands is eighth happiest country in the world.

For the third year in a row, Australia has taken the top prize for being the happiest place to live in the advanced world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD)Better Life Index.


The annual index ranks the world’s 34 industrialized economies based on key criteria such as jobs, health, environment, education and income and Australia was the only Asia-Pacific country to find a place in the top 10. The Netherlands performs very well in overall well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the Netherlands, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 25 493 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn nearly five times as much as the bottom 20%.

In general, 86% of people in the Netherlands say they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc), more than the OECD average of 80%.

The survey ranked more than 30 countries on criteria such as income levels, health, safety and housing.

For more info: Dutch Daily News

Amsterdam Roots festival

The 16th  edition of Amsterdam Roots Festival returns to Amsterdam from 4 to 7 July 2013. Taking place in five locations around Amsterdam, the festival features four days of music from all cultures and corners of the world. Expect to experience the latest development in world sounds, inspiring headliners, up-and-coming international talents at the city’s venues. Amsterdam Roots concludes festively with the annual outdoor festival Roots Open Air in the Oosterpark.

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Roots Indoor

Well-known city venues such as Bimhuis and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ traditionally host the Roots Indoor programming. This year’s programming gives platform to inspiring acts. For example, Bombino (Niger) a Sahel blues rocker who has recently collaborated with The Black Keys, will headline in the Melkweg on Thursday July 4th. At the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Brazilian stars Paulinho Leite & Andre Rio explore and celebrate Carnaval & Fórro from Pernambuco. Vibrant big band Spok Frevo turns out elaborated arrangement from Frevo, Brasil.

Roots Open Air

The festival traditionally culminates in the fabulous Roots Open Air in Oosterpark on Sunday July 7th. From noon until 22.00, visitors can enjoy a day filled with music across multiple stages spread throughout the leafy park, with both international and local bands, the latest talent from Amsterdam, DJs, dance workshops, adventurous kids’ programming and extensive market with exotic foods and accessories and a lot more. Foodies surely won’t be disappointed by the variety of global goodies to be sampled.

This year singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré (Mali) headlines Roots Open Air. Having just released her latest album Beautiful Africa and performed in the musical theatre production Desdemona at Holland Festival, it’s the perfect time to catch this mesmeric songstress.

Other highlights include guitarist Jupiter Bokondji (Congo), singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia) – who became known for her protest songs during the Arab Spring – and the avant-garde classical and rock of Geomungo Factory (South Korea). As well as showcasing non-Western pop music; the Bass Stage will celebrate 5-year anniversary and blast out slices of modern bass and electronic music with a global twist. Urban Groove stage showcases some of the best international innovative acts such as Coely (Congo/Belgium), Next of Kin (NL), Gato Preto (PT) the world and Amsterdam has to offer.

For more info: see Amsterdam Roots Festival 2013

Windmills in Amsterdam


Windmills are an iconic part of the Dutch landscape, and no trip to the Netherlands is complete without a visit to a windmill. Every year in mid-May, the country celebrates National Windmill Day when windmills throughout the Netherlands throw open their doors to the public. And with eight windmills located in and around Amsterdam, windmill spotting is a great way to see the city.

Celebrating windmills

Windmills (molens) were an integral part of Dutch life for centuries, employed for industrial purposes like milling corn or draining the lowlands of excess water. More than 10,000 windmills once dotted the Dutch landscape. In fact, they are even ingrained in the language – one Dutch expression to describe an irrational person says that they must have been “hit by a mill”. Windmills are still celebrated during National Windmill Day as well as on festive occasions and national holidays when they are often decorated with flowers, figures of angels or Dutch flags.




17th and 18th-century windmills

Most of Amsterdam’s 17th-century windmills are unfortunately not open to the public, but hunting for windmills is still a fun way to see the city. De Otter on the Kostverlorenvaart in the Amsterdam West is the oldest sawmill of its kind. You can also admire De 1200 Roe or the Riekermolen located on the banks of the Amstel River. Two later examples are d’Admiraal windmill in Amsterdam Noord and De Bloem on the Haarlemmerweg, which was actually moved from its original location. And De Gooyer mill is bound to go down well with those fond of a tipple – Brouwerij ‘t IJ next door serves a range of traditional Dutch beers brewed on site. The bar is open all year-round, and when the sun is shining you can enjoy your cold brew on the large outdoor terrace.

Open for visitors

Of Amsterdam’s eight remaining windmills, the only windmill regularly open to the public is the Molen van Sloten. The Molen van Sloten is a renovated, working windmill built in 1847 and is a popular wedding venue. Whenever possible, the miller demonstrates how he turns the mill’s blades into the wind. Another attraction at the Molen van Sloten is an audio-visual presentation about Rembrandt’s life, called “Rembrandt in the Attic”.

Outside Amsterdam

If you fancy checking out more windmills after viewing Amsterdam’s best, the surrounding area also offers some stunning examples. The Zaanse Schans is just a short trip away from Amsterdam – about 15 minutes by train. This picturesque open-air museum is free of charge and boasts eight windmills. And for a small fee, you can also visit a working industrial windmill. From here, you can also stop by the Windmill Museum, a relaxing 15-minute walk away.

More info:  I amsterdam

Summer in Amsterdam

Vondelpark in Amsterdam

Vondelpark PaviljoenVondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam, and certainly the most famous park in the Netherlands, which welcomes about 10 million visitors every year. The Vondelpark is centrally located south of Leidseplein and near Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. The Vondelpark is loved by Amsterdammers as well as by tourists, and is full of people – enjoying a sunny day, dog-walking, jogging, roller-skating, listening to music, people-watching, or just lazing about in grass. Free concerts are given at the open-air theatre or in the summer at the park’s bandstand. Other attractions are the statue of the poet Vondel, the cast iron music dome, the Groot Melkhuis with playground for children, and the historical Pavilion with its restaurant Vertigo, opening in summer a popular terrace.

More pictures and info: Amsterdaminfo and Friendsof…

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Schermafbeelding 2013-06-21 om 13.12.11

Julidans 2013 festival

Amsterdam |  On different locations in  july sets the stage for cutting edge performances by both leading and upcoming dancers and choreographers from around the world!

For more information about this 23rd edition of Julidans, see I am expat.

Position of housing markets

German Logo of the ECB.

German Logo of the ECB. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Begin this year publish CPB analysis of the consequences of the current financial position of Dutch banks in relation to the mortgage and housing markets and, following from that, for the current situation of the Dutch economy.

CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis to analyses the consequences of the current financial position of banks in relation to the mortgage and housing markets and, following from that, for the current situation of the Dutch economy. This study was to include both the economic and structural aspects of that relationship. CPB honors this request in so far as the questions can be answered on the basis of available expertise and research capacity. The conclusion is that the mortgage interest rates in the Netherlands, according to European Central Bank (ECB) statistics, are around 1% higher than in the surrounding countries.

For more information:

The Alkmaar cheese market

Say cheese, say Alkmaar

In 1365, the city owned one pair of cheese scales only, but this increased to four in 1612. The kaasdragersgilde (cheese carrier’s guild) is first mentioned in the archives

in 1619. 1593, however, is considered the first year of the cheese market, which has always taken place on the Waagplein. This square has been extended several times; in the course of two centuries, it was enlarged no fewer than eight times before it reached its current dimensions, which proves the importance of cheese trade for the city.

In the 17th century, cheese was traded on Fridays and Saturdays from May until All Saint’s Day, and in the 18th century on four days a week.

The cheesemarket Alkmaar 2013 will take place from March 29th untill september 6th, every fridaymorning on the Waagplein.

Program (subject to confirmation):

  • 09.50: Welcoming the visitors
  • 09.55:  Introduction of the bell-ringer
  • 10.00: The bell is rung and the market is opened
  • 10.05 – 10.50: Verbal presentation to visitors,
    in Dutch, German, English and French
  • 10.50 – 11.15: Performance by the carillon
  • 11.20 – 12.05:  Verbal presentation to
    visitors, in Dutch, German, English and French
  • 12.15 – 12.45 : Performance by the carillon
  • 12.30: Cheese Market closes

For more info:
Say cheese, say Alkmaar