In the Netherlands, the amount of square meters of community real estate is estimated between 83 and 85 million square feet. Although these are only estimates, the numbers give an indication of the extent of Dutch community real estate. Due to its size it can be stated to be a segment that covers an important part of the real estate market. However, it seems that community real estate is not yet always managed in a professional way since owning real estate is in most cases not the core business of the owner (mostly municipalities and other non-profit organizations). Because community real estate is financed with public funds and the real estate is physically located in the middle of the society, it is a subject of discussion in the Netherlands and therefore subject of our research in the past seven years.

The problem addressed in this paper is which trends can be recognized in the way Dutch municipalities deal with their community real estate.

In order to describe these trends, municipalities were asked to complete a questionnaire about the way they manage this type of real estate. From 2008 until 2014 (except for 2013) the municipalities completed the questionnaire with an average response rate of 23% (14%-37%). The questionnaire developed over time and contained approximately 30 to 45 questions. Most of the questions were repeated and some were added, deleted or adjusted due to current developments and feedback of respondents.

From the answers given on the questionnaire, many results can be showed and conclusions can be drawn. 49% of municipalities are currently experiencing problems in conducting community real estate tasks and a majority (63%) is not yet ready to outsource their core functions. If municipalities are considering this, they only do this on operational tasks. 92% indicates that the separation of housing costs and operating expenses are a current theme. Many municipalities (56%) do not take measures for financial risks. 40% has both a bureaucratic vision as a municipal property policy, whereas 33% has neither of these. In the short term, municipalities consider another way of organizing their community real estate tasks. The number of municipalities that measures technical quality, user satisfaction and the contribution of community real estate to policy objectives has increased.