Strong results for area developer BPD
Walter de Boer, BPD’s CEO, commented as follows: “Over the past year, the coronavirus crisis has primarily affected us organisationally, particularly due to staff having to work from home. Ironically, it has had no impact on the sales of housing in the Netherlands. This is because of the huge increase in the housing shortage, which is expected to rise to 400,000 homes in 2022 (5% of the total Dutch housing stock). We are also seeing more delays in planning procedures. Nimbyism is becoming commonplace, certainly in the Randstad conurbation, which is the most densely populated part of the Netherlands. This unfortunately often leads to procedures all the way up to the Council of State, where the average time for processing applications has now risen from three months to twelve! Meanwhile, the shortage of affordable housing in particular is continuing to grow and there is a danger of housing being put beyond the reach of ever larger groups of people.
BPD Woningfonds on track
“BPD's rock-solid stock position in both the Netherlands and Germany has enabled us to continue developing significantly over the past year. We are continuing to expand on this position by winning great tenders and making major acquisitions for large-scale area developments in both countries. BPD Woningfonds also got off to a flying start. Through this fund, we are working to increase the proportion of mid-priced rental homes in dozens of attractive districts in the Netherlands, all the way from Alkmaar and Almelo to Groningen and Rosmalen. More than 600 mid-priced rental homes are being let, with another 400 under construction and around 1,700 homes in the acquisition phase. This puts BPD Woningfonds on course to complete more than 15,000 sustainable and energy-efficient new-build rental homes for households with an income of one to two times the average within 10 years.
Proud of colleagues
“I am proud of what my BPD colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany have achieved over the past year. Despite the difficult conditions brought about by the coronavirus, they have continued to work with unprecedented commitment and energy. The shared passion and responsibility we feel when faced with the ever-increasing housing challenge was reflected in the very high scores our people gave for their job satisfaction and happiness. The excellent results and scores resulted in BPD being designated a Top Employer. This put the company in the top 5% of employers in the Netherlands for employee happiness. The internal employee engagement survey conducted at the end of 2020 was carried out by the MonitorGroep.”
De Boer added: “BPD's results may be satisfactory, but the pressure on the housing markets is continuing to rise and that is a cause for concern. The increasing pressure caused by procedures and the additional requirements the authorities continuously place on area developments mean that costs are rising – and to such an extent that housing affordability is incessantly being put at stake. The time really has come for the levels of government involved to stop constantly describing and discussing the problem and instead move on to actual decisions on locations and upscaling.”
De Boer concludes: “The prospects for 2021 are certainly positive, both for BPD and the house construction sector as a whole. Nevertheless, finding affordable housing – whether to rent or to buy – will remain difficult for house hunters over the next three to five years. Given the current prices, an increasing share of over 3.5 million middle income households no longer has access to the housing market. In the year of our 75th anniversary, we will continue to focus on what we were founded to do, namely to create inclusive residential environments in which the physical, spatial and social aspects of housing are fully reflected. Cooperating with municipalities and housing corporations is of great importance if we are to be successful in this social undertaking.”
BPD’s results for 2020 were disclosed following Rabobank’s financial statement dated 11 February 2021.