Demographic trends influence the housing market, an increasing number of regions is dealing with shrinkage. However shrinkage of the population is from all times and occurs all over the world. The focus will be on one of the shrinking areas in the Netherlands: East Groningen, an area in the North East of the Netherlands with a relatively large number of owner-occupied properties therefore the focus will be on this area. The other shrinking areas in Groningen are left out of this research due to uncertain circumstances of earthquakes issues due to gas extraction. East-Groningen is an area in the Netherlands with 150 thousand of 16.7 million Dutch people. The area is considered a rural area with only three towns with more than 18,000 inhabitants. In total 67,000 households are present in this area in 2012. The prognosis states that in 2040 the population will decline with 17.6% to 122,700 people and the households decline with 11.6% to 59,000 in 2040. The housing stock in East-Groningen is expected to decline from 68,200 houses in 2014 to 65,400 properties in 2040, a decline of 4%. This is not in line with the expected decline in the number of households and this will lead to major vacancy.
This research is conducted to understand the housing and housing location preferences of owner- occupiers in East-Groningen, this to understand which houses and location are preferred and which are not. Not preferred properties need to be withdrawn from the housing market to prevent major vacancy in the future.