Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Dutch toughen up for downturn

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Editor's note: This is the third part of an occasional series. Inman News Publisher Brad Inman is chronicling his real estate observations in Europe as he meets up with real estate industry officials abroad. His travels will take him to London, Prague, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, among other destinations. See Part 1, "Brits get thumped like U.S."; and Part 2, "Online listings battle sweeps U.K." AMSTERDAM -- Allegedly, the first recorded speculative financial bubble occurred in the Netherlands in the 1630s when, according to Wikipedia, tulip contracts sold for 20 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. When tulip prices came crashing down so did the economy, according to reports that have not been sufficiently documented for historians to conclude exactly what occurred. During a visit to Amsterdam with more than 50 local real estate leaders, those in attendance were a bit skeptical of that history, but were keenly aware of and on top of every a...