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Housing rent increases down in 2010

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15:32 CEST+02:00
Housing rents in Sweden increased by an average 1.6 percent in 2010, down from a 3.3 percent rise in 2009 with an average two bedroom apartment costing an average of 5,644 kronor ($844) per month.

Despite Sweden's system of centrally-negotiated rents between property owners and tenant unions, prices vary considerable according to location and in newly built apartments, according to Statistics Sweden (SCB) figures.

Greater Gothenburg saw the lowest increases in rent (1.2 percent), with Greater Stockholm at the higher end of the scale at 2.1 percent. Municipal housing companies and private real estate owners both raised rents by 1.6 percent.

Larger municipal areas have higher average rents than the smaller municipalities, but with a large number of older apartments in the centre of Sweden's cities there were significant variations among districts.

The difference was even greater among newly-built apartment with a two bedroom apartment built in 2009 costing an average 65 percent in rent more than an older apartment. This gulf is at the same level as the all-time high 66 percent in 2003

In the years since 2003 the difference has fluctuated between roughly 30 and 50 percent. In 1974 the difference was at its lowest - 18 percent.

The average annual rent for a three-room apartment in 2009 was 109,732 kronor compared to an average 66,484 for the entire stock of three-room apartments.

For rental purposes properties in Sweden are assessed according to a set of criteria such as size, standard, renovations, floor and location in a system designed to fixed rants base on "utility value" and to restrict the influence of market forces.

Until recently private landlords were excluded from the negotiations between municipal housing firms and tenant unions but are required to follow the "utility value" system and adapt rents accordingly.

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