Strandvägen is one of the grandest streets in Stockholm. The long boulevard sweeping from Berzelli park along the harbour to the entrance of the Djurgården boasts deluxe hotels and luxury homes.
One of the apartments, right by the bridge leading to Djurgården, will soon be the home to a 64-year-old woman who was more patient than most.
After she joined the queue in 1985 at the age of 36, she is set to take over the home for a monthly rent of 9,320 kronor ($1,430), according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).
According to several experts, decades-long waits for rental flats are all too common in Stockholm.
“Well, 28 years is a very long time indeed, and these kinds of stories underline that there is a problem in Stockholm,” Anders Konradsson of the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen) told The Local.
“If you want an apartment in Stockholm, especially on a street like Strandvägen, you’re in for a wait. The problem is that there simply aren’t enough apartments here.”
For foreigners moving to Sweden, Konradsson explained that the best bet is to get talking and keep talking.
“If you want a nice apartment in Sweden you have to be prepared to either pay a lot or wait. But if you’re in a hurry for some reason and want something reasonably priced, get talking to landlords and try to rent something second hand. Write to them, talk to them, and don’t forget to check sites like [Swedish buy/sell site] Blocket,” he said.
“It’s quite tough, but I can’t see any other way.”
There are currently over 400,000 people waiting on Stockholm’s housing queues, more than ever before. Since the start of the year, almost 15,000 people have joined.
These patient house-hunters have to pay an annual 225 kronor fee, however roughly 80 percent of these people have already arranged a living situation.
Experts at Swedish real estate agency Fastighetsbyrån agree that a 28-year wait is pushing the limit.
“I wouldn’t even recommend waiting in the housing queue myself,” Johan Vesterberg, head of PR at the estate agency, told The Local.
“It’s better to try and rent something directly from the owner, try that out for a while, get used to the city, then just buy something if you can manage.”
“Of course, in this story it seems like the woman got the place of her dreams – and it could always happen – but a 28-year wait is a long time indeed.”