Economy losing interest for homeowners

As was widely predicted, on Thursday the national bank announced a 0.5% cut in interest rates to a record low of just 2%. The banks responded with reductions in their lending rates.

But even 2% wasn’t low enough for the National Institute for Economic Research, which has been calling for further rate cuts for the past year. The head of the national bank, Lars Heikensten, admitted to Svenska Dagbladet, “In retrospect we can see that a lower rate was possible.”

Still, every little bit counts – especially for whoever buys what Tuesday’s Expressen describes as “the most expensive little house in Sweden”. The 19 square metre dwelling, “complete with shower, fridge, stove and fan” will set you back a tidy million crowns. And no, it’s not in the centre of Stockholm, but in Visby on Gotland.

If you do happen to have the cash available, you might instead consider Expressen’s alternative recommendation: “For the same price you can get a farm in Älvdalen, Dalarna with forest, pastures, stables, three outhouses and 130 square metres of living space.”

One person who won’t be affected by the interest rate cut is Per-Axel Larsson, who lives in a scrapped car under a bridge in Gothenburg. Göteborgs Posten gave almost all of Wednesday’s front page to his battle with the council’s environmental service, which wants him shifted.

Last week the department reported him to the police for littering the area but Larsson, speaking from his “heap of branches, plastic bags, discarded toys, old clothes, wheels and wood” described himself as a “collector”.

Mikael Finsberg from Gothenburg Council told GP, “The problem is, there’s a path right where he lives. People feel uncomfortable when they walk by.”

The social services have offered Larsson an apartment, but apparently he is sceptical. “Of course I want an apartment, of course I want a toilet – but I also want to be on my own.”

Properties in Sweden