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'Swedish housing costs among highest in EU'

TT/The Local · 3 Mar 2010, 14:10

Published: 03 Mar 2010 14:10 GMT+01:00

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The average Swede spends 26.9 percent of his or her total expenditure on housing, while a Dane shells out 27 percent and a Slovak 25.9 percent. The EU average is 22 percent.

The countries with the lowest housing costs, relative to total expenditure, are Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta.

Sweden is also near the top with regards to total actual housing costs, in seventh place of the EU's 27 member states, spending an average of €4,300 ($5,900) per annum on housing.

The figure is particularly high considering that Swedes earn fairly modest net incomes in comparison with many other EU countries, and are far behind countries such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and neighbouring Denmark.

The figures showing that Swedes pay such a high price for their homes is explained by the researchers by the fact the standard is generally higher, homes are larger, and housing density is lower.

Story continues below…

The average living space for a Swede amounts to 44.5 square metres, with only Luxembourgers and Danes enjoying more space to call home.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:22 March 3, 2010 by Beavis
Who on earth researched this?? Obviosly have never lived in either the UK or Ireland!
15:47 March 3, 2010 by rba
How do families figure into these statistics? I suppose the 44.5 sq m average is per person?

And regarding income, do they count the income of the whole family?
15:53 March 3, 2010 by Törnrosa
Apparently the opposite of the truth is true these days. I doubt very much the person who wrote this examined the price of a standard house in the UK and what the equivalent amount of money could fetch here in Sweden. Because if he had, he would see that for a standard (poxy) house in the UK you could get twice as much "house" for your money here in beautiful southern Sweden.
16:11 March 3, 2010 by Blackman_for_Blondes
The service charges in Sweden (avgift) are very high I pay nearly 6000kr in avgift..put your loan on top that and its alot of money...ok the actual flat is cheaper than the uk...but the hidden charges are much higher..
16:21 March 3, 2010 by Localer
agreed with the avgift, we pays 6600 kr per month for nothing !
16:40 March 3, 2010 by izbz
Who's fault is that???+ Before I bought this present apartment in Flemingsberg, I went to see an apartment in Bagamossen (24kvm) without balconey but of course avgift 1500kr.

Starting price was 550,000 kr the last bid was 820,000 kr. Do these suckers have any IQ when they did their bidding? Anyway don't blame nobody, but can sure say consumers are F%&¤ing dumb. How can anyboby imagine 24kvm in BAGAMOSSEN can sell for that price. So good luck to the ar%¤ hole that bought the place. See if they can sell at that same price in the future
16:45 March 3, 2010 by Nemesis
The avgift in Sverige is not justifiable.

I pay avgift usually 3 to 6 months in advance. I rarely get a good nights sleep due to four Alabanian lunatics illegally subletting the apartment below who do not goto sleep until 7am. My association is useless.

I am saving to buy a house.

I know several people who after purcashing an apartment are paying 4000 to 12000 Krona per month in Avgift. I can not figure out how they justify the costs. Heatnig and maintenance due not cost that amoun tin a block of apartments.

It comes across to me as a system designed to stop people rising up teh housing market and to keep them poor.
16:58 March 3, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
Andrea, the avgift also pays for the loans that your housing association has on the apartment building.

If it costs 100mkr to build the apartment building, the developer might sell all of the apartments at 60mkr then the housing association is stuck with a 40mkr loan, which is why the avgift is so high.

This is why the avgift on new apartments is usually quite high. Buy an apartment in a 100 year old building the the avgift is low because they carry no loans, but that of course pushes up the purchase price.
17:03 March 3, 2010 by Puffin
So Swedes pay more for bigger homes - now there's a shocker

Important to add that this report was based on 2006 statistics - so before the huge boom years in many countries
17:28 March 3, 2010 by wb882
Can't comment on avgift and living in an apartment- but a straight forward purchase is way better value in Sweden. The Uk is a rip off when it comes down to housing, council tax etc., £250K for a 3 bedroomed semi in Sheffield comes in cheap compared to most of the UK and we could never afford to move back there. If you're lucky enough to have some equity Sweden generally is excellent value. It can't be easy living in a flat with that sort of disturbance though Nemesis- not funny at all. I have a friend in the UK who paid good money for her flat in the town centre, the developers couldn't sell most of them so the council rented them from the developers and guess what 75% were occupied by illegal assylum seekers who made life difficult to say the least, sheer numbers too many for the space available, and as you say didn't quieten down until 6/7/8am- not a happy situation at all. Hope the deposit for the house comes together quickly for you, I'll remember you predicament if I will the next Euro millions! :) Where in sweden are you? Post privately on the forum, we will be renting our future purchase,t before we move in a couple of years.
17:59 March 3, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Renfeh Hguh

I know about the loans. My apartment was built in 50. My avgift is 2500 krona. The way HSB operates the loan system is something that has raised my eyebrows. It looks more like a feeder system to justify the existance of HSB.

@ wb882

I don't get mortages. I save until have enough to purchase outright, otherwise I will not buy.
18:20 March 3, 2010 by stoffer
Obviously, the guys who did this study wanted to support some statement and presented the data in such a way. They should have give price of square meter in relation to _net_ monthly salary. That would give better image.

As for those who complain about high avgift - is your avgift including heating? That and the loans for the construction company would explain a lot. Also, construction standards in Sweden are way higher than in UK, closer to what you can see in Germany.
18:33 March 3, 2010 by Mina08
@ Nemesis...Good Luck... ;)
21:02 March 3, 2010 by rba
Some of you guys are completely misunderstanding how the Avgift works.

ALL the money you pay for Avgift goes to the association that manages your building. It gets used to pay down the loans (and interest) that were taken to build your house in the first place, as well as heating and other running expenses.

When you buy a bostadsrättlägenhet (the apartments which have a Avgift), you are actually purchasing a share in this association. So ALL the profit made on your Avgift (if any) goes back to yourself, in the form of capital in this association which should result on a higher price of your house.

Bottom line, none of the money which you pay in Avgift gets skimmed by any third parties, unless your building is very mismanaged (and then you can vote to fire whoever is managing it).
21:33 March 3, 2010 by Alohart
How lucky we are! Our Uppsala bostadrättsförening owns a small hotel in addition to our 3 apartment buildings. The income and expenses of this hotel are thrown into the same budget pot as our apartment buildings. Fortunately, this hotel has been run so well that our December avgift was cancelled and our 2010 avgift was reduced to about 2,400 kr./mo. for a 90 kvm apartment. But the purchase price of our apartment was higher than others of similar size but with considerably higher avgifter, so maybe it all works out to be about the same in the end.

Compare this situation with that of our Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, apartment of similar size in which the avgift is about 4,200 kr./mo. which doesn't include a loan payment, hot water, or air conditioning (Heating? What's that? :-) And our Honolulu apartment avgift increases almost every year :-(

So Sweden's apartment costs don't seem high at all to us.
22:04 March 3, 2010 by scanbyheri
Move to Florida in the states, housing is real cheap, there are no jobs but killer deals on homes - in Florida it is like 22 c today -so you will need to wear sun block so you do not burn up while basking in the sun at your own pool.
22:16 March 3, 2010 by David Ewing

Housing in Sweden is amongst the cheapest in Europe.

Is this survey just based on flats in the Gamla Stan?
00:17 March 4, 2010 by rba
Alohart yes... that's actually one of the good things about the way the avgift works. If you don't have much money but don't want to take on a lot of debt yourself, you can buy a low-priced apartment with a high avgift.

If you hold this apartment for a long time, the Avgift will probably come down at some point, or at least rise slower than inflation (as the debt of the association goes down, requiring lower payments from members). This will make your house's value higher.
08:46 March 4, 2010 by miau
I also have my doubts about this report (or at least what was reported in this article). But I also suppose it depends on where in Sweden you live-the cost of housing between Stockholm and anywhere else is quite a lot.

Germany has much higher housing costs and much lower value-for-money. In Sweden our family is able to afford a tenant-owned (bostadsrätt) duplex house with a nice backyard. In Germany, we could never afford a house close to a city (the fact that houses close to the city are so rare doesn't help things), we'd have to settle for an apartment.
21:19 March 4, 2010 by FACTSPOLICE
We can all only comment based on what we are used to in our own home towns. Relatively speaking, in the big cities, housing prices are always inflated. It could be considered extortion when you have to pay over 12.000.000 kronor for a 140 km apartment in Östermalm, or even for a 90 kvm apartment in Södermalm, and, on top of that the avgift. I actually agree with the article. But we need to check out these greedy realtors, who over price most of the homes they appraise. Sure you can get a rikety looking farm barn looking house out in the country for less, but who wants to live in the country when the best paying jobs are in the city of Stockholm? Not to mention the ambience, houses are of all sizes and styles everywhere in stockholm, and there is sometimes great disparity. For example drive through Saltsjöbaden, houses are atop each other, so we question standards and quality. I've got to run, will finish this later. cheers!
08:18 March 5, 2010 by Swenglishman
You can't just lok at what peoploe pay for housing, but what they get for their money. If the calculation was based on Euros per square metre It would be a different story. I could never afford the 150m2 I have n Sweden if I moved back to the UK.
20:23 March 5, 2010 by Kronaboy
lets see, minimum wages in Sweden 120:- UK 50:-

realy nice flat about 90m2 with nice view etc... Sweden 5000:- per month, UK shity little room in flat share with a bunch of crack heads 3000:- per week. Am I missing something or are the Swedes trying to put people off moving to Sweden?????
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