The real estate sector is back on track. While overcapacity remains a serious issue, the economic recovery is having a positive impact, exports are growing and investments rising. Above all: the crisis has had a purifying effect. The real estate sector is more self-aware and innovative than it has been in years.
“Building has resumed,” says Evert Hein Schuiteman of Schuiteman Accountants & Adviseurs. “In particular, house building, commercial construction and utility construction are doing well.”
Schuiteman is observing a number of significant trends. “Sustainability is out of its infancy in real estate. Progress was less rapid in the crisis period, due to the relatively high investment involved in sustainable development. But the trend did continue and now that the sector is picking up, sustainability is evident in all fields. The building sector has long been accused of not being innovative; those days are really gone. It has caught up in a big way.”
Lifetime of real estate
Another development observed by Schuiteman is the discussion about the lifetime of real estate. “It is realistic to expect that population growth will stagnate in the coming decades and it may even decline between 2030 and 2035. In view of that, is it sensible to build homes with an economic life of fifty years? Or should we instead aim for homes that can be taken apart after 20 or 25 years?” Schuiteman is referring to modular homes, which can be given another function and reused.
A third trend is the flexible organisation of businesses. “Certainly in the real estate sector much employment became more flexible in the crisis period. Permanent contracts gave way to flexible employment arrangements. These suited many companies and they are keen to maintain them in better economic times.” Schuiteman adds its own thoughts to the client’s. “We provide ideas and starting points for addressing the issue of how you can remain a flexible organisation and how you can prevent fixed cost patterns arising that are later difficult to escape.”
Schuiteman Accountants & Adviseurs serves a wide variety of parties in the real estate sector. From project developers, architects and construction firms to installers, investors and end-users. As well as the usual accountancy services, Schuiteman provides advice on diverse subjects in the sector, ranging from financing issues to tax consultancy.