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House prices rise as cost of apartments falls

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House prices rise as cost of apartments falls
10:08 CEST+02:00
Apartment prices are continuing to fall in Sweden, but houses are bucking the downward trend.

Apartment prices have dropped by three percent in the last three months, having already fallen by three percent in the last 12 months.

But according to a new report by the Mäklarstatistik association, which assesses real estate sales and trends in Sweden, house prices have risen by four percent in the last 12 months and by three percent in the last three.

The average cost for a house in Sweden is 1,865,000 kronor ($ 297,098). The average cost for an apartment is 1,275,000 kronor with an average square metre cost of 19,856 kronor.

The stats are based on the sales of 13,223 apartments, 14,120 houses and 4,116 summer houses during the months of May to July 2008.

Statistics are rather different for Sweden's capital city, Stockholm, where any real estate purchase will set buyers back far more than the national average.

An apartment in the greater Stockholm area costs 30,961 kronor per square metre, while an apartment in central Stockholm will comes in at 52,459 kronor per square meter on average. This is more than double the national average per square metre.

Prices for apartments in central Stockholm have gone down by two percent in the last 12 months, but have remained static for the last three months.

According to the report, higher interest rates and other cost increases are reflected in falling apartment prices. Nonetheless, house prices continue to increase, possibly due to new property tax regulations that make it cheaper for many to live in a house.

And, according to Per Johnler, CEO of real estate agents Fastighetsbyrån, there continues to be a housing shortage in many areas which puts a halt to price decreases. The prognosis for the coming months points towards a slight increase in house prices but a decrease in apartment prices.

However, it seems that Swedes' dream of owning a summer house or cottage will continue unabated, despite the property slump. Prices for summer houses have gone up by two percent in the last twelve months, and by 6 percent in the recent summer months.

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