Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Dutch Equivalent of...#3: Bond Street

Continuing the shopping theme once again, this post is a comparison between the most expensive/luxury shopping streets in Amsterdam and London. These are:

Bond Street – London
Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat – Amsterdam

Where the street names come from
Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft was a seventieth century poet, playwright and historian.

Sir Thomas Bond was the head of a syndicate of developers who purchased a Piccadilly mansion called Clarendon House in 1683 and proceeded to demolish the house and develop the area (source Wikipedia). "Bond Street" doesn’t actually exist: as the street is divided into two parts known as Old Bond Street and New Bond Street.

Most shops along Bond Street are fashion boutiques, including outlets of top designer brands such as Emporio Armani, Burberry, Dolce & Gabanna, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Joseph, MaxMara and Prada. At the Old Bond Street end of the street there are also several jewelers including Bulgari and Cartier. Pascal bought my engagement ring from a tiny Bond Street jewelry shop called Moira, and both our wedding rings are also from that shop.

PC Hooftstraat is lined by pretty much the same list of boutiques. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Cartier, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani and Chanel are all here too.

The IT Crowd, and their cars
Both streets have pretty strict rules on parking, but you will usually see a large black Bentley or Porsche Cayenne parked up directly outside one of the shops. In England these cars will always have intriguing private number plates, which lead you to suspect you might know which famous person owns the car.

PC Hooftstraat is very popular for cruising in posh cars or SUVs. It’s a one-way street, but on a sunny day you’ll see many big cars pass slowly by several times with their roofs down, while the passengers check-out their surroundings, and more likely allow themselves to be checked out by pedestrians.

How expensive?
Here’s a shocking comparison for you…

Bond Street = Average of £650 per square foot per year for retailers (2006) (Source)
PC Hooftstraat = Between €800 and €1100 per square metre (2007) (Source)

This doesn’t sound so bad until you do the maths. By my calculations, this can be converted into the following Anglo/Euro friendly price lists

PC Hooftstraat Price List:

  • Euro price for one square metre = 800 - 1100
  • Pound price for one square metre = 542.30 – 745.67
  • Pound price for one square foot = 165.33 – 227.34
  • Euro price for one square foot = 243.90 – 335.37

Bond Street Price List:

  • Euro price for one square metre = 3145.09
  • Pound price for one square metre = 2132
  • Pound price for one square foot = 650
  • Euro price for one square foot = 958.87


Textual Healer said...

Your calculations on rental prices go towards confirming a theory that I have about rip off Britain. (You know the fact that most things cost the same or more in pounds as they do in Euros - while people on average - and let's take the median not the mean here - earn less) and that is the totally out of control property prices in the UK. Most people I know in the UK really struggle to pay their rent, mortgage or whatever and don't have so much left over to be able to afford a few little luxuries. Given that Holland is the most densely populated country in Europe one would think that market economics would disctate that rents and mortgages would be more expensive here. But there seem to fairly strict controls on housing and commercial rents - and - as a - casual observer the tax on property exchanges seems to sto house prices ratchettig out of control. Or is it that there is a balance between home onwership and social housing in the Nl (and most other Western European cxountries) that doesn't exist in the UK - or Ireland which I hear is also expereincoing out of control property inflation. I'm going to continue exploring this theme. thoughts and feedback greatly appreciated.

Sarah de Mul said...

I totally hear what you are saying about UK prices, there is no way I could afford to buy even the tiniest of properties in London by myself. However, I was also shocked to learn about the property market in holland. This may be particularly severe in Amsterdam, but the market here seems to conspire against the reasonably well off young person:

1. To buy a property you need to throw away about 10% of the house cost on tax and fees. On most property you can expect "Kost voor kooper", i.e. the buyer pays all fees related to the sale. Add to this the crazy tax, this makes life very hard for first time buyers in particular.
2. Social rental schemes mean that many people are paying only lightly higher rent than they were in the 1970s and rental of 200 Euros per month for prime real estate in the centre of the city is not uncommon. As people therefore never move out of these rental appartment this locks out a huge percentage of property, leading to point 3...
3. Only 10% of properties in Amsterdam are owned by their occupier. Meaning only a tiny proportion of available properties are up for sale at any one time.
4. In the reverse to the 200 Euro rents, if you can't get hold of such a property (because the waiting lists are 10 years long) then you are forced to rent from the smaller pool of available housing which is, comparatively, extortionate (although still cheaper than London).

Compare this to the UK, where there is vastly different circumstances but the same story. Young people are locked out by the large deposits required to avoid an unaffordable life-time mortgage driven up every 6-months by rising interest rates...