• Sweden's news in English
 

Eight-year wait for a home in Stockholm

Published: 14 Jan 2013 07:55 GMT+01:00

Last year, 400,000 people were signed up and waiting for an apartment in the nation's capital, 9 percent more than in 2011 and roughly double the figure from 2006.

The average wait for a house in the region also shot up to 8.5 years - or 15 years for those who prefer to live centrally. The central island Kungsholmen has an average waiting time of 17 years.

These statistics come fresh from Stockholm's municipal housing queue, run by Stockholms Stads Bostadsförmedling AB.

Maria Nordlöf of Bostadsförmedling explained that the city's housing scheme is a whole different game from 10 to 20 years ago when it was possible to find a home in the centre of Stockholm.

"If you're looking for a rental apartment, you should consider the entire Stockholm region," she told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).

Further outside the centre of the Stockholm region, in areas such as Huddinge, Upplands Väsby, Järfälla or Botkyrka, the average waiting time dropped to six years.

But living outside of the city is no solution, according to Lina Glans, CEO of the Jagvillhabostad.nu ("I need a house now") website and lobbyist for increased housing in the nation's capital.

"The situation is extremely frustrating and affects a whole generation," she told the paper.

She stated that many people can't begin a real life as an adult until they have a stable housing situation in the same area as their work.

"That young people can't live where all the work is will affect Sweden's future development and growth."

Despite the extensive waiting times and long list of housing hopefuls, only 1,700 new homes were built in Stockholm last year.

TT/The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

10:02 January 14, 2013 by azimuth
Sweden's problem #1.... I doubt it will be ever solved though.
11:41 January 14, 2013 by Meridiean
"Despite the extensive waiting times and long list of housing hopefuls, only 1,700 new homes were built in Stockholm last year."

Why?
12:55 January 14, 2013 by jsegel
Many articles about this in the papers, none explain why.

Why? Well, the "moderate" government of the past 6 years wanted to privatize everything. SO they sold an entire service of state owned rentals... to whom? Well, some people living in them were able to get loans to buy their apartments, but most are now owned by large corporate land owning companies.

The result is that with the remaining ownership passing to the large companies as of this year, literally half of the rentals are now gone. Many places we have been looking at are now only for sale, no rental available. My wife has been on "the list" for 6 years now, and we've approached being number 2 or 3 a couple of times in our area, but now we're stuck again. And with her being a student (she starts school again this month, now that our daughter is 18 months old) we don't qualify for being able to rent from the private companies that now own most of the apartments.

So we continue to live with her parents in their apartment. All of us.
13:32 January 14, 2013 by engagebrain
As jsegel points out many flats are now in the hands of the for profit sector, who have no actual interest in providing decent homes at affordable rents, in fact their interests are the exact opposite, waiting lists are ideal and rents will be pushed up, maintenance will be reduced.

The other killer is subletting, the long waiting times are for primary rental contractsbut illegal rentals from primary tenants who have moved out, but won't give up their flats, can are readily available. Elliminate or reduce secondary rentals and waiting times will fall - it is not just about expensively building new flats.
13:35 January 14, 2013 by azimuth
The problem is not solely because of the private companies owning the apartments. It is a more complex problem. One of the reason is that the first-hand contract holders do not want to lose their contracts and sublet the apartments illegally/unofficially. This leads to the shortage of apartments available for rent. This is a vicious circle as they are afraid to give up their contracts because of the accommodation shortage which is caused by them not giving up the contracts and so on.

'Why don't they build enough new housing?' - I would like to know the answer as well as it is very unusual and against the market laws that they don't build while there is a huge demand for housing. I'm quite sure that every apartment in newly built housing would be sold far before the end of construction (as it happens to all nyproduktion housing nowadays).
16:20 January 14, 2013 by eppie
Stockholm has set some rules for the area covered by houses, roads and green.....which is a good thing it keeps the city livable.

Of course in a growing capital there will be more and more people wanting to live in the center and not everybody can.....which is the same anywhere in the world.

Also if you can buy a 60m2 apartment in Östermalm for say 3.5 MSEk it is also not faire to be able to rent a similar apartment for 6000SEK/month.

The big issue is that having waiting times of say 10 years is not a sensible thing......if you are going to work in Stockholm you need something now.....not in 10years. Now it is just parents putting their infants on the list so that when they are 18 they have an apartment.....even if they would work in Göteborg. So the idea of being very fair and social (so that not only the rich can live in town) is just not working....it favours people that put their names on the list early and doesn't care about if they really need the apartment or not.

And the moderates plan that jsegel desrcibed was indeed just to make some people that were lucky enough to rent an apartment happy by giving them the chance to buy their apartment for half the market value....talk about fairness.
20:01 January 14, 2013 by johan rebel
Just about the most over-regulated and dysfunctional housing market anywhere.
21:51 January 14, 2013 by engagebrain
johan rebel - for a much more dysfunctional housing market, try London.

In London rents are reaching 40-50% of incomes and buying property on a normal income is essentially impossible. Most of the decent social housing in London was sold off long ago and the current plans are basically to deport the unemployed.

But London is a dream if your are seriously rich, although the local rich are beginning to complain that the international rich and driving prices too high.

Stockholm could be saved.
22:05 January 14, 2013 by Bushyblondehead
I hate trying to find a decent place to live!
22:24 January 14, 2013 by ragdoll
To the guy whining that the rentals have been turned into apartments for sale, why don't you just buy one? Is it because you can't afford it? Well, your wife doesn't work, you have an 18 month old kid...maybe you just aren't generating enough revenue to live inside one of the most expensive cities in the world! Maybe you have to live with relatives until you can afford the lifestyle you seem to want. Many people don't have relatives to live with so you are luckier than many. If you want something bad enough go earn it and stop waiting for your lucky number to come in.
00:50 January 15, 2013 by Enjoyourlife
It is a very difficult situation. You cannot begin a family because of accomodation. I know couples living in a single room with kitchenette. Some with a child. It is fairly easy for assylum seekers to get accomodation. I don't why. If people were not renting out rooms in their apartment, the situation could have been worst. That is how I lived, before moving to a student accomodation and finally to my own plat. Thank God the student housing company has regular apartments that students can switch too. it is pretty faster.
05:30 January 15, 2013 by jotge
I'm looking at pictures of Stockholm... Swedes: Where are your hi-rises and skyscrapers?!?! Why have you harmed yourselves like this by banning them?
09:45 January 15, 2013 by ann2
There is a certain unrealism here in the area of where to live and the length of commute. Commuting for an hour or more in the states isn't considered such a big deal, and of course the tradition of school buses (my school bus trip took an hour, plus it arrived at school 45 minutes early) makes the school no longer a factor. Here it's a must to live near the school and have a 20 min or less commute. We live in Tyresö and it's great.
10:29 January 15, 2013 by rramirez
This headline is misleading. There is no 8 year wait for apartments in Stockholm. We bought a place last year and moved in two months later. There is a 8 year wait for people who want to pay less than what their apartment is worth. Any surprise? Basically, these people want to live off what amounts to a never ending groupon. At least that's what it amounts to in Stockholm. This whole rental system was designed to deny market forces and that is something that is next to impossible to maintain over the long term. Now its breaking down. Eventually inefficiencies will set in and these inefficiencies will grow into gross inefficiencies. The fact is wealthier people get to live in nicer locations, eat in better restaurants, take fancier vacations, etc. If you try to ration off a handful of these benefits to people who can't afford them you will get massive lines almost by definition.

I have in laws who had a rent control in Malmo and wanted a rent control in Stockholm. So they had to find someone with a rent control in Stockholm who wanted one in Malmo. The whole devious process took forever, there was cash on the side and all kinds of nonsense just so they both could keep these artificially low rents. They have plenty of money they're just cheap pricks. And they don't even live in Stockholm, they just keep that place for weekends. The system might have started with good intentions, but it just leads to manipulation because its entire premise is to deny the reality of the market.
16:52 January 15, 2013 by Polish-Finnish Swede
The rental apartment market is over-regulated and dysfunctional as mentioned above. Basically, rents (not so for sublets) in the city center are not higher than rent for similar size apartments in the suburbs. Private companies are not likely to build rental apartments on expensive properties unless they are allowed to get market rent. The other option would be to spend tax money on apartments with low rent. Public transport in Stockholm is reasonably good in Stockholm. Unlike Lina Glans I think young people can take the bus/metro to work just like thousands of other commuters.
Today's headlines
Royal princess couple to quit Stockholm for UK
Chris O'Neill and Princess Madeleine of Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/SCANPIX

Royal princess couple to quit Stockholm for UK

Princess Madeleine of Sweden is set to leave her native country and move to London with her British-American banker husband Chris O'Neill, the Royal Court confirmed on Wednesday. READ  

Mediterranean migrant crisis
Sweden learns of new EU migrant quota details
Migrants arriving in Italy. Photo: AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi

Sweden learns of new EU migrant quota details

Sweden has been told to help relocate 821 migrants who have arrived in Italy and 548 who have travelled to Greece as part of the European Commission's controversial plans to ensure refugees are spread more evenly across member states. READ  

Interview
Swedish mum makes kids' dolls with genitals
Some of Julia Taube's dolls. Photo: MyIDolls

Swedish mum makes kids' dolls with genitals

A Swedish mum-of-three has started making her own hyper-realistic dolls, designed to challenge gender stereotypes. The Local spoke to Julia Taube as she prepared to put the toys on sale, despite a backlash in one of the world's most equal nations. READ  

Are Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Swedish memoirs fake?
Sweden's controversial football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Are Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Swedish memoirs fake?

Football fans all over Europe were sent into a mad social media frenzy on Wednesday after the ghost writer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography let slip that none of the quotes in the book came from the Swedish footballer himself. READ  

Sweden puffs up outdoor smoking ban proposals
A Swedish woman smoking outdoors. Photo: TT

Sweden puffs up outdoor smoking ban proposals

Plans for an outdoor smoking plan in Sweden are hotting up with reports that a majority of politicians in the Swedish parliament will back plans to stop people lighting up on terraces and in beer gardens. READ  

Opinion
'Culture debates are meant to stop questions'
Stockholm University Library. Photo: Simon Paulin/Image Bank Sweden

'Culture debates are meant to stop questions'

After Norwegian literary legend Karl Ove Knausgård accused Swedes of being narrow-minded 'cyclops' (one-eyed giants from Greek mythology), Stockholm University business lecturer Carl Cederstöm argues that his fellow countrymen and women should learn to offer more sophisticated cultural debates. READ  

The Local List
Six essential shopping spots in Stockholm
Exclusive shopping street Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm's Östermalm district. Photo: TT

Six essential shopping spots in Stockholm

Sweden has a reputation for style and the nation's capital is a haven for shopaholics - once you know where to go. Here's The Local's beginner's guide to Stockholm's shopping scene in 2015, from the latest designer stores and independent boutiques to handy malls. READ  

'Rotten’ business claims at Nordic TeliaSonera
A TeliaSonera conference in Stockholm last year. Photo: TT

'Rotten’ business claims at Nordic TeliaSonera

Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera has been accused of “rotten” business dealings in Azerbaijan, following a separate bribery scandal in Uzbekistan. READ  

Presented by ConnectSweden
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Barbara Bergström, founder of Internationella Engelska Skolan. File photo: IES

The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love

Barbara Bergström, founder of Internationella Engelska Skolan, talks about what’s wrong with Swedish schools, international teacher recruitment, and why she's not above cleaning toilets. READ  

Bones of missing Swede confirmed in US town
Larkspur Landing, in California, where Elisabeth Martinsson was last seen. Photo: Pedro Xing. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

Bones of missing Swede confirmed in US town

US coroners have officially identified the skeletal remains of a 21-year-old Swedish student who went missing in California over three decades ago and have relaunched a murder investigation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your May sun snaps
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
National
Russian veterans' Nazi attack on Ikea
Sponsored Article
What it's like to be a student in Malmö
Blog updates

26 May

Vet, kan, känner eller känner till? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It happens every now and then that my students mix up the words “vet”, “kan”, “känner”..." READ »

 

24 May

 (Joel Sherwood) »

"Real American men don’t watch Eurovision. New video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQk5dUhGt-w ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Avicii confirms royal wedding DJ gig
Sponsored Article
Kristin Amparo: 'Swedes are afraid to be proud'
Gallery
Property of the week: Lugnvik, Östersund
Sponsored Article
'No one tells expats about unemployment benefits'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw through the years
Gallery
People-watching: May 22nd-23rd
National
Why are Sweden's beaches among the worst in Europe?
National
VIDEO: Can you get your tongue around Sweden's word for 'nurse'?
National
How two million Swedes are designing a 'house of clicks'
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Five facts you need to know about Sweden's Eurovision entry
National
Why do one in three Swedes want to join Nato?
Features
What to do in Stockholm this summer
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th
National
How Sweden and Saudi Arabia got back on speaking term after row
Gallery
Property of the week: Västra hamnen, Malmö
Sponsored Article
'There is no such thing as Swedish values'
National
Why is support for the Sweden Democrats at a record high?
Sponsored Article
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Gallery
People-watching: May 15th - 17th
National
VIDEO: Swedish man's roar scares off charging bear
National
'Gang conflict' linked to latest Gothenburg attack
National
RECIPE: How to make Panna cotta with cloudberry jam
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
National
Sweden backs migrant sharing plan
National
Swedish boozing on the rise
National
Why Sweden's deputy PM was forced to apologize for Auschwitz analogy
National
End of the road for Julian Assange's arrest appeal?
Features
Booked to go to one of Sweden's sizzling music festivals yet?
National
Meet the Swedish boy who used to be a girl
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why is obesity ballooning in Sweden?
National
VIDEO: The bizarre Swedish nurses song that's gone viral
National
Ecuador stray dog Arthur in Swedish charity race
National
UK expert: 'Sweden's current military state is alarming'
National
Elfdalian: a real language spoken in central Sweden in 2015
National
Is King's love for house tracks behind new military music?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hjortnäs, Leksand
National
Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedes
National
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King Carl XVI turns 69
National
Dolphins spotted in Baltic
Gallery
People-watching: May 1st-3rd
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
National
Road trippers flock to 'The Bridge'
National
Why are Swedish supermarkets banning paracetamol pills?
Gallery
People watching: April 29th
National
"In many ways Swedes and Americans are kindred spirits"
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,305
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se