Homeowners fear new repayment rules

Homeowners fear new repayment rules
Apartment blocks in Stockholm. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
Swedish property owners are worried that proposals to get them to repay more on their loans could end up hitting them in the pocket and lowering the value of their homes according to a new poll.

The study follows an announcement from Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) last month, proposing that all mortgage holders must repay 50 percent of what they have borrowed. 

The idea sparked fierce criticism and debate with some economists suggesting that it could have an adverse impact on people who have just got onto the property ladder.

A poll conducted by Ipsos and Dagens Nyheter has revealed that just 20 percent of the 1633 people surveyed felt it would have a negative impact on their personal finances.

A higher percentage, 35 percent, are concerned that the value of their property will decrease as a result of it.

David Ahlin, head of analytics at Ipsos, said he didn't feel that the proposal had really sunk in with mortgage holders.

"Everybody hasn't had time to take in the news and think about the effects," he told Dagens Nyheter.

Apartment owners are slightly more concerned than house owners about the proposal. A total of 39 percent of them believe their property value could decrease while the corresponding figure with house owners was 34 percent.

Property prices have increased in Sweden over the last two decades. Of those surveyed, a total of 53 percent said they still had an unpaid mortgage reported Dagens Nyheter.

Central Stockholm has the most expensive property in the country with 73,350 kronor ($9,800) per square metre now the going rate. An average home in Sweden costs in the region of 2.5 million whereas in Stockholm it is 4.5 million.  

TT/The Local/pr

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