presence of multinational corporations in Rotterdam has also attracted “high-skilled workers from India,” Ms. de Widt said. American buyers are less common, she said. “When they do come, they’re with families, looking for very big houses, in areas with good schools.”

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in the Netherlands, said Ingomar Souren, an attorney specializing in real estate at the Kneppelhout law firm in Rotterdam.

Notaries oversee property transactions. After agreeing on a price, the buyer and seller sign a sale agreement which the buyer can terminate within three days, after which the purchase is binding, Mr. Souren said. Once the contract is finalized, a notary does due diligence on the property, executes the sales agreement, and registers the deed on the new owner’s behalf. Notary costs can total about 1,500 euros ($1,605), he said.

Foreign buyers have easy access to mortgages through Dutch lenders, said Peter Klaassen, senior manager for tax advice at the Rotterdam office of global accounting firm BDO. “It’s up to you and the bank,” he said.

Because of the housing shortage, Rotterdam’s city council has passed laws discouraging foreigners from buying rental properties in the city, with higher transfer taxes and capital-gains levies.


Real estate commissions in the Netherlands average 1 to 2 percent of the purchase price, said Mr. de Ruiter, adding that the annual property taxes on this home come to about 2,768 euros ($2,960).

Leslie D.T. de Ruiter, R365|Christie’s International Real Estate, 011-31-10-22-508-22,

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