The student rooms in Wageningen are a lot cheaper than rooms at other universities. This was found in a comparison of room prices by investigative journalists at Yournalism.nl. New rooms are being built in many university buildings, but they are relatively expensive, independent rooms.
Yournalism.nl made a comparative analysis of the room offers for students in the Netherlands. Out of the nine university cities that they compared, Wageningen and Enschede had the cheapest rooms on offer. Amsterdam had the most expensive rooms.
It was also found that room shortage was mainly an issue in the Randstad area and that housing corporations have been building many students accomodations. Especially the supply of expensive, independent rooms - that are just cheap enough to still be eligible for rent subsidies - has increased. Enschede, that has barely built new rooms, predominantly has cheap shared-facility rooms for students. In the past five years Amsterdam built almost 7,000 extra student rooms and Utrecht about 1,500. After two national action plans to decrease the room shortage, a total of 35,000 student rooms were built since 2010. In the coming years it is expected that another thousand rooms will be added, mainly high-end rooms with private kitchens.
Kences, an important interest group of student housing groups, often insists that independent student rooms are needed because students are looking for luxury rooms. Although it seems that the rent subsidy is the most important explanation for this demand. Since 1997 students do not receive rent subsidy for rooms in student houses, but students with independent rooms can still apply for this subsidy. Therefore, the independent rooms are often just as expensive or sometimes even cheaper than a room in a shared-facility student house.
Due to these developments, the student room market has grabbed the attention of commercial real estate agents and investors. Bouwfonds, for instance, collected about 1,200 student units in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Groningen and The Hague in the past few years. Pension investor Syntrus Achmea owns 870 units in Delft, Leiden and Amsterdam. Recently student housings group DUWO signed a contract with the German-Dubai investor International Campus AG for the construction of 2,250 student accommodations in Leiden and Amsterdam. DUWO will own and rent out the accommodations for which the tenants can apply for rent subsidy.