• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Rent control reform key to fixing housing market'

The Local · 21 Jan 2014, 12:31

Published: 21 Jan 2014 12:31 GMT+01:00

The Swedish Property Federation joined forces with three urban centre Chambers of Commerce last year to find solutions to the country's housing crisis. The inquiry, given the name Housing Crisis Committee (Bokriskommittén), had more than its fare share of issues to examine.

For example, the crunch has forced up property prices threefold since the turn of the millennium, reveal figures from estate agents organization Svensk Mäklarstatistik. That has led to fears about a prospective bubble, with the European Commission asking Sweden to take the situation seriously.

READ ALSO:  'Sweden must avoid long-term housing bubble': EU

The level of household indebtedness has also raised eyebrows. Bloomberg reported last year that Sweden's four biggest banks - Nordea, SEB, Handelsbanken, and Swedbank - together hold assets worth four times Sweden’s GDP.

On Tuesday, the Housing Crisis Committee released a broad sketch of its recommendations, with the business groups and property owners coming to the conclusion that market rents would spur construction in Sweden. Among its analysts were former central bank vice chairwoman, Barbro Wickman-Parak, and experts from both the property and the mortgage worlds.

The report's chief analyst, SEB economist Klas Eklund, said Sweden badly needed a clear direction in its housing policies.

"There is a point to saying what you want to achieve, which we on the housing crisis committee now want to do," Eklund told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper. "This is not standard among politicians. Housing Minister Stefan Attefall has now appointed a slew of inquiries, but not taken an overall grip that shows what he actually wants to do with the housing market."

READ ALSO: Housing minister to 'tame' unhelpful local leaders to ease property crunch

Story continues below…

The housing minister told The Local in the autumn that municipal politicians might have to take their neighbours' and the region's needs into account in the future. The Housing Crisis Committee went one step further, proposing that municipalities be stripped of their urban planning monopoly. The report also directed criticism at the central level, stating that the state had to ease construction regulations. 

READ ALSO: 'Angry Man' dreams of Stockholm's Fifth Avenue

The full report, including extensive and detailed recommendations, is set to be published before summer, Eklund told DN. Swedes head to the polls in September, with a potential cabinet overhaul in sight, but the economist said that any reform to the housing and construction markets needed broad political support to survive electoral shifts in the future.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedes discover secret 150-metre-long cave
Per Bäckström on his way into the cave. Photo: Alexander Bennerstål/TT

They are believed to be the first people to venture into this hidden cave on the Baltic island of Gotland.

No arrests after boy's death in Gothenburg grenade attack
The scene at the apartment in Biskopsgården two days after the attack.Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

UPDATED: Almost 200 people paid their respects at the funeral of an eight-year-old boy killed in a Gothenburg grenade attack. But police told The Local they have yet to make any arrests in the case.

Swedish couple banned from owning animals kept 100 cats
Not the cats mentioned in the article. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Animal protection officers seized around 100 cats from the couple in Halland.

'Unfriendly' Swedes give expats the cold shoulder
Is it difficult to make friends with Scandinavians? Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

Sweden is among the most difficult countries for foreigners to feel at home in, according to a new survey.

Is this the most Swedish wedding cake ever?
A chocolate ball enters a mouth. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

That's a lot of balls!

Sweden's most beautiful places revealed
West-coast serenity in Onsala, Halland. Photo: Mikael Tigerström

Is the west coast the best coast?

Swedish woman bumps into bear near pub
This is not the bear Valeria Möller met in Skellefteå. Photo: Bernard Boehne

If you go down to the pub tonight...

Stockholm school segregates boys and girls in gym class
A gym class for first-graders. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

"Some of our girls want to be able to take off their veils and wear shorts and T-shirts in their classes," a teacher explained.

This Brit moved to Sweden and opened his dream café
Härnösand café owner Shaun Corby. Photo: Johanna Corby

Shaun Corby tells The Local how following his Swedish wife to Härnösand turned out to be the best move he ever made.

Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,376
jobs available