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Foreign buyers snapping up Swedish homes

Foreign buyers snapping up Swedish homes

Published: 14 Mar 2011 14:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Mar 2011 14:57 GMT+01:00

Foreign ownership of Swedish summer houses, houses, land and farms has increased by 36 percent over the past five years, new statistics from the Swedish land registration authority (Lantmäteriet) show.

The Lantmäteriet figures show that almost 80,000 Swedish properties are now owned by foreigners.

"They want to have some peace and quiet and be close to the Swedish nature," said Christer Stjernfeldt at a property firm in Älmhult in southern Sweden that specialises in selling properties to foreigners.

The Danes are the group of people leading the list, owning 22,000 Swedish properties, followed by the Germans with 18,700, Norwegians 16,100, the USA 4,300 and Britain 3,700.

The greatest increase over the past five years is however accounted for by the Dutch, with an increase of 72 percent to 2,600.

"The Danes love old red houses with tiled and wood-fired stoves. The Germans buy more modern houses in the outskirts of a village."

Stjernfeldt's description corresponds with the statistics produced by Lantmäteriet on behalf of the TT news agency.

According to this report, foreign ownership has increased by 36 percent since 2006 to 79,000 properties owned by people living in other countries (which includes emigrated Swedes).

The list is dominated by summer houses, but also includes detached houses, farm properties and plots of land.

"The Dutch, for example, who live in Europe's most densely populated country, it is here that they can find the vast expanses," said Henrik Roos, a property analyst at Lantmäteriet.

Roos predicted that foreign ownership will continue to increase with the longer term strength of the Danish and Norwegian currencies cited as explanatory factors - even if the Swedish krona has rebounded somewhat over the past year.

He added that the range of properties on offer in Sweden are also a significant factor behind the increasing popularity - from farms to boat houses and tenement soldier's cottages, as well as the landscape.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:15 March 14, 2011 by JLondon
In the future I don't believe foreign ownership for summerhouses will increase. The only increase will be for ownership in Stockholm.
21:53 March 14, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
I bought three in the last year; good price too!
07:35 March 15, 2011 by rfmann
I moved here recently for work, and quite frankly, right now the idea of someone buying a vacation home in Sweden sounds pretty absurd to me. Seriously, if you were to get a permanent vacation spot, why wouldn't you get it in a place where the weather doesn't suck rocks?
07:40 March 15, 2011 by Rick Methven
"if you were to get a permanent vacation spot, why wouldn't you get it in a place where the weather doesn't suck rocks? "

Wait until the Summer. Then Sweden rocks!

Summer in your own little stuga just lagom
10:26 March 15, 2011 by aaww
@rick methven

yea, you are right, summer is nice in sweden, if you call that summer.

it last to the most two month, and you gotta suffer the rest time of the year.

with half of the money i pay for a property in sweden, i would have spent it on a town house close to the water in a quiet state in the united states, and i will have far better life than you can have in sweden.
14:24 March 15, 2011 by stillwatersrd
@aaww

I think you may be missing Rick's point. Yes, the property in the U.S. might be cheaper and perhaps preferable, IF you define quality of life by whether it's 'cheap', 'quiet', and near water, but it would still not be in Sweden and Sweden does rock in the summer.

Foreign purchase of homes usually means vacation houses or investment properties, so the owners may well skip the 'suffering' of Sweden's winters. Your point?
14:41 March 15, 2011 by Rick Methven
@aaww

We can get good use of the summer house from Easter until September around 5 months of weekends and extended periods of up to a month around midsummer.

The whole point of a Swedish summer house is to get away from all the trappings of modern life that you have in your town house and get back to a simpler way of life. No traffic, no noise pollution just nature which as the swedes say is just Lagom.
19:44 March 15, 2011 by rfmann
@Rick

I hope you are right. The winter, that's for sure, is miserable. It's March now, and the weather is still not at all lagom. Not close. But at least this is starting to be some sunlight. I am looking forward to the time when "outside" is not actively trying to kill me. Gotta learn to be happy about the small things.
23:22 March 15, 2011 by JLondon
I'm freezing my ass off lol
10:05 March 16, 2011 by aaww
@stillwatersrd

if you are not looking for a nice quiet place close to the nature, anything else you looking for? what else makes sweden more rocky? maybe i miss a point here, but please teach me.

if you need a vacation spot, there is something called rent or even Homeaway.

i am also not sure if sweden could be a place for real estate investment, a smart investor would probably buy a house for 100,000 in a mid eastern states and sell it for 300,000 in a couple of years, how much percent do you make in that? or you can go to Dubai, Hong Kong or Shanghai, Hong Kong saw price jump 27% quarterly in 2010
17:14 March 16, 2011 by mkvgtired
@aaww, I am sure not all of the houses that are foreign owned are investment houses. I would imagine investment properties would be in larger villages and cities. Many people like untamed nature. I am one of them. I live in Chicago, but like to go on hikes for a week or longer. I dont think many of the Europeans that own these properties would be interested in a vacation home in the US. If a Dane or Dutch person owns a country home in Sweden they can take a long weekend and go there. If they own a place in Virginia or Colorado they would have to dedicate at least a week to warrant that much travel. Its all about location. I think the Rocky Mountains and Alps are prettier then the Appalachian Mountains, but if I could buy a vacation mountain home it would probably be in Tennessee or Virginia because of proximity.
23:05 March 17, 2011 by LeoKinmann
why bring this up, while the students in Uppsala can hardly find any place to stay over the year
17:38 March 18, 2011 by svenskal
We, a retired Englishman and Swedish wife, bought a little summer house in Bohuslän 7 years ago. We paid about the same as a good second hand car costs in England. Peaceful surroundings, nature and really friendly neighbours. Sea and lakes about 15 minutes drive away. I enjoy maintaining it and don't care if it loses money when we sell. It's all worth it.
16:17 January 27, 2012 by hejsweden
i am english and i want to live in sweden!!!
15:31 February 23, 2012 by ahiranta
Ok, I am Dutch and my husband is Welsh but we live in the South of England. We bought a property in Sweden in 2004 in the middle of nowhere. The Swedes themselves are leaving the area in search for another life style then the one experienced up North. There is simply no work available to support a large population. Saying that we LOVE being in Sweden would be an understatement and when possible we spend each year 4 month's in the property while doing it up, because it was and certain parts still are completely run down. We never bought it as an investment which is a good thing because selling it would be near to impossible. Not many people would like to buy so far remote. But for us the clean air, clean water, simple way of living, being surrounded by animals and trees does something within both of us, and adds to our general well being. We have not done the Swedish winter as yet, because the house as it stands does not allow that at this moment. But we do look forward to the day that we can experience the cold and dark days. As in so many cases, so many people do not appreciate what they have until they have gone somewhere else to find out, that a simple clean life style is all it takes to live a full and happy life. When we bought the place I had been bed bound for 5 years, now I am able to live a pretty "normal" life outside of the bed thanks to my stay in Sweden. Sweden's clean air and water, the silence and space has exactly done what we were hoping for. Thank you Sweden for allowing us in!! We can't wait to make a permanent move to our property hopefully in the nearby future.
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