Swedish home prices continue upward climb

Swedish house prices have risen for the 18th straight quarter and home construction is booming, but that doesn't meant that house hunters can't find something spacious for a reasonable price.

Swedish home prices continue upward climb

House prices in Sweden increased by 5 percent from August to October compared with the same period last year, Statistics Sweden reported on Wednesday, while remaining unchanged from the previous quarter. From July to September, prices increased 6 percent.

The average price for a one- or two-dwelling building in Sweden was 1.98 million kronor ($285,600).

However, for just over half that amount, buyers looking for something a little more spacious in central Sweden can lay their hands on a property boasting 300 rooms and 118,000 square metres or surrounding property.

According to the local Dalarnas Tidningar newspaper, Solbacken, a former sanatorium and surrounding estate located two and a half hours north of Stockholm between Hedemora and Säter, is on the market for a mere 1.12 million kronor.

Swedish online classified site Blocket has advertised a listing for the sale of Solbacken since September 26th, the report said.

Built in 1913, the total estate covers several hectares of forest in addition to 118,000 square metres of land, Future fastigheten, the company behind the listing, wrote in the advertisement.

In addition to the main building, which spans 5,600 square metres and comes with its own water tower, the property also includes an 800-square-metre nursing home with 25 single rooms and three apartments and a garage.

Elsewhere in Sweden, prices for more traditional dwellings continue to climb, according to Statistics Sweden, with the sharpest housing price increases taking place in Gotland, which reported a 14 percent annual increase, and a 7 percent compared rise with the previous quarter.

Housing prices also climbed in Sweden’s three largest cities, with a 9 percent annual increase in greater Stockholm, 7 percent in greater Malmö and 6 percent in greater Gothenburg.

However, ten counties reported price decreases compared with the previous quarter.

In addition, construction began on twice as many homes in multi-unit buildings in the first three quarters of the year compared with 2009. This is the sharpest increase ever and matches construction levels last seen in 2004.

The construction of 13,000 multi-dwelling buildings has been under way in the first nine months of 2010 compared with 6,320 in 2009. In addition, construction of one- or two-dwelling buildings has increased slightly during the same period to 5,550 from 5,454.

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Sweden steps up Baltic defence in ‘signal’ to Russia

Sweden's defence minister has said his country is carrying out military exercises in the Baltic Sea to 'send a signal' to countries including Russia.

Sweden steps up Baltic defence in 'signal' to Russia
Swedish troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Photo: Joel Thungren/Försvarsmakten/TT

The so-called “high readiness action” means the Swedish army, navy and air force are currently more visible in the southeastern and southern Baltic Sea and on the island of Gotland.

No details have been disclosed about the number of troops involved in the action.

Sweden is “sending a signal both to our Western partners and to the Russian side that we are prepared to defend Sweden's sovereignty,” Hultqvist told news agency TT.

Ground troops on Gotland. Photo: Bezhav Mahmoud/Försvarsmakten/TT

“There is currently extensive military activity in the Baltic Sea, conducted by Russian as well as Western players, on a scale the likes of which have not been seen since the Cold War,” the Swedish Armed Forces' Commander of Joint Operations, Jan Thörnqvist, said in a statement.

“The exercise activities are more complex and have arisen more rapidly than before. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has caused global anxiety and uncertainty. Over all, the situation is more unstable and more difficult to predict,” Thörnqvist said.

A Visby-class corvette and two Jas Gripen jets in the air. Photo: Antonia Sehlstedt/Försvarsmakten/TT

Hultqvist said Sweden was also monitoring developments in Belarus “very closely”.

Non-Nato member Sweden, which has not been to war in two centuries and which slashed military spending at the end of the Cold War, reopened a garrison on Gotland in January 2018 amid concerns about Russian intentions in Europe and the Baltic.