500 years of housing rents


Used database:



April 2019


Research report


Thies Lindenthal (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy), Matthijs Korevaar and Piet Eichholtz (both from Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics) took a close look at the rental prices of urban housing and set out their findings in a paper for the Real Estate Research Centre in Cambridge. They studied the development of prices in seven major cities (Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, London and Paris) between 1500 and 2017. For their research, they had access to a collection of unique historical data, including cadastral data and more than 6000 rental contracts from the POPPKAD database.

Apart from temporary fluctuations due to local circumstances, the relationship between housing rents to wages has been more or less constant for centuries. Rental prices clearly rose from 1900 onwards. The increase was more a result of the improvement in the quality of housing than an increase in the rent itself.

Research report:

Lindenthal, Thies, Matthijs Korevaar and Piet Eichholtz. “500 Years of Urban Rents, Housing Quality and Affordability”. University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy, Working Paper Series, 2019-1, 1–71.