Sunday, February 11, 2024

Value of Amsterdam house doubled in over 350 years - What happened next?

In 1625 Pieter Fransz, a carpenter, built a house on the outskirts of Amsterdam, by the new Herengracht (Gentleman's Canal). A picture of the house can be seen above (at the left) and below.

The Eighty Years' War, (1568–1648), was initially a fight for the Netherlands' independence from Spain, which led to the separation of the northern and southern Netherlands, and the formation of the United Provinces of the Netherlands (the Dutch Republic).

The Dutch Republic was a confederation from 1579 to 1795 and in the 1600s its population was the richest in the world on a per capita basis.

The Southern Netherlands also called the Catholic Netherlands, were part of the Low Countries. They were controlled by Spain (1556–1714), Austria (1714–94) and added into France (1794–1815). This area was most of modern Belgium [at the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, Belgium (The Southern Netherlands) and the Northern Netherlands (Holland) were united to form one state (Belgium became independent in 1831)].

First Modern Economy: Myths on tulips & most valuable firm in history

Piet Eichholtz (1962), professor of Real Estate and Finance at Maastricht University, in 1997 published 'A Long-Run House Price Index: The Herengracht Index, 1628-1973.'

Prof Eichholtz had transactional details for 487 houses on the Herengracht and from 1632 to 1634 house prices fell almost 50%.

In 1636 alone 17,000 people or 14% of the Amsterdam population died during a plague.

700 years of Amsterdam was celebrated in 1975. The book 'Vier eeuwen Herengracht'(1975 'Four Centuries Herengracht') chronicled all the families that had lived on the Herengracht.

The average real price increase after World War II was about 3.2% per annum. Nevertheless, the real value of the index in 1973 was only twice as high as it was in 1628.

Prof Anne Goldgar, the author of 'Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age' (2007) wrote that the crash in 1637 was probably caused by unsustainability, and fears of oversupply. But the effect wasn't nearly as bad as the story suggests.

"I looked to try and find anybody that was made bankrupt because this is the myth of course that people were drowning themselves in canals because they were made bankrupt," she says. "Actually I couldn't find anybody that was bankrupt because of Tulip Mania."

Lodewijk Petram, author of ‘The World’s First Stock Exchange’ (2014) says “There were some 285 people actively involved in bulb trading in Haarlem, with an estimated sixty traders in Amsterdam.”

The Dutch economy primarily flourished due to its efficient textile, shipbuilding, and agricultural industries; also its development of an advanced financial system; and its establishment of monopolies on international trade such as in spices, sugar, and slaves were important. Migration to The Netherlands also helped.