Sweden’s best beautiful bargain property spots

Fancy owning a stunning home in Sweden for the same price as a shed in London or New York? It's the best time in years for Brits and Americans to invest in the Nordic nation, thanks to the weak kronor. Here's The Local's guide to snapping up a gorgeous property for less than €100,000 (£72,000, $106,009, 933,210 kronor).

Sweden's best beautiful bargain property spots
A home for sale in Tomelillia, Skåne this week. Photo: TT
With its chilly winter climate, famously expensive restaurants and unfamiliar language, Sweden might not seem like the obvious place to move to or buy a holiday home in. But if you're paying in pounds or dollars, properties are up to 25 percent cheaper than they were a year ago.
Swedish properties offer owners the chance to enjoy some of Scandinavia's most pristine lakes and deep green forests alongside historic towns and villages. Plus Sweden has longer days and more sunlight than much of Europe during the summer months, when temperatures can regularly climb to 25C in the south, and even got up to 27.8C in Kiruna in the far north in 2014.
According to Johan Vesterberg, head of press for Sweden's largest estate agent, Fastighetsbyrån, with just a €100,000 budget “you can find a decent property in most parts of the country, it will just be a question of size”.
Meanwhile the chief economist at SBAB, the nation's state-owned mortgage broker has told The Local that foreign buyers should stay away from the coast and avoid the nation's major cities in order to get the very best bargains.
“Start looking 100 kilometres way from Stockholm,” said Tor Borg.
“Central Skåne in the south is a good bet for warmer weather, but for really cheap prices you should head north,” he said.
Factor in the generally high standard of maintenance and insulation in most Swedish homes and a much swifter and open buying 
procedure than in the UK and the US and you're probably already starting to check your bank balance. 
Potential buyers who have their bids accepted before August can also benefit from lower mortgage repayments, before new rules come into place later this year. But even the changing legislation does not require many home buyers in Sweden to pay back the entire sum they borrow, unlike in most other parts of Europe.
Here are six properties impartially selected by The Local to help you get inspired:
1. Danvikshagen, Oxelösund
Just a 20-minute drive from Stockholm Skavsta airport (which is actually about 100 kilometres south of Stockholm), you could 
find yourself relaxing in the forest at this €95,000 (£69,230, $102,000, 895 000 kronor) property, which can comfortably sleep four people and is just a short spin away from several pretty beaches and harbours. While the closest town, Oxelösund, still feels fairly industrial thanks to its mining roots, nearby Norrköping and Nyköping offer charming cobbled streets and cute restaurants if you're in need of some civilization. Classified as a summer house, a type of property which can't always be lived in year-round in Sweden, potential buyers have the option to stay here during every season.
2. Nora-Skrikarhyttan, Nora
This immaculately decorated two-level four-bedroom family home could be yours for a total of €96,000 (£69,360, $103,000, 900,000 kronor). It is situated just 90 minutes by car from Stockholm's Västerås airport (100km north west of the Swedish capital). Nora is one of Sweden's best preserved wooden towns and is also famous for its freshly made ice cream. You'll also find a railway museum and an adventure park close by and easy road access to three of Sweden's largest lakes.
3. Delsjökolonin, Göteborg 
On the outskirts of Sweden's second-largest city, Gothenburg, you can find some modest, yet beautiful holiday homes. Within 
walking distance of prime swimming spot Delsjön Lake and just a 20-minute hire car or taxi journey from the city's main international airport, Landvetter, our property tip consists of two large rooms, a separate kitchen and a barbecue-ready veranda. The asking price is €106,518 (£76,950, $113,745, 995 000 kronor), but bidders of €100,000 or less could be in with a fighting chance.
4. Tegefjäll, Åre
Situated in one of Sweden's most popular skiing and hiking areas, this modern apartment in the north west of the country can 
be enjoyed in both winter and summer. Åre is known for a cooler and more laid-back vibe than many other European resorts. While drinks are pricey and the mountains aren't as high as the Alps, there's less jostling for lifts and the chance to picnic on reindeer rugs over lunch. The Local's property choice here has two bedrooms and a large, cozy living area. You can fly to the closest airports – Åre Östersund and Trondheim Vaernes over the border in Norway – from numerous Scandinavian cities. Bids for this home start at €91,129 (£65,540, $96,418, 850,000 kronor).
5. Skåne Tranås, Tomelilla
Less than an hour's drive from Malmö airport and also easily accessible from Copenhagen, Tomelilla is less than 20 kilometres from the southern Swedish coast, and offers much cheaper deals than in nearby waterside locations. The Skåne Tranås region prides itself as a prime spot for bird watching and boasts some of Sweden's best beaches, cycle trails and Gyllebosjön, a popular swimming and fishing lake. We've picked a two-floor property with one large bedroom and two living areas, a separate shed or workhouse and a huge garden. The smart interior boasts polished wooden floors and a modern kitchen. It is priced at €74,512 (£53,607, $78,869, 695,000 kronor).
6. Vita, Luleå
Fancy being able to watch the northern lights from your own window? This two-bedroom home in Luleå, Sweden's most northerly major city, includes a log fire in a snug lounge and a newly-renovated bathroom. You can fly here from Stockholm in just one hour and 15 minutes. Winter activities in the region also include ice climbing, dog sledding, and cross-country skiing. Luleå is one of Sweden's sunniest places during summer, when it doesn't get dark until after midnight. Kayaking and hiking are among the most popular tourist pastimes during warmer weather. You could buy our property choice in this year-round nature playground for €83,045 (£59,832, $88,041, 775,000 kronor)
To see more stunning Swedish homes check out The Local's Property of the Week every Tuesday. 
Thinking of moving to Sweden? Head to The Local Jobs, listing thousands of opportunities for English speakers.
Currency conversions calculated on April 13th and 14th 2014. Photos: Fastighetsbyrån

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INTERVIEW: Swedish doctor on the state of the coronavirus in ski resorts

Sweden's government has decided to leave its ski resorts open during the current 'sports holiday', despite concerns that this could lead to rising infections. The Local spoke to Anders Lindblom, the infectious disease doctor in Dalarna, about how it is going in the region's ski resorts.

INTERVIEW: Swedish doctor on the state of the coronavirus in ski resorts
The Lindvallen ski resort in Sälen is busy this week. Photo: Gustaf Månsson/SvD/TT

The annual 'sportlov' school break kicked off last week and will run through the first two weeks of March, with the exact week varying depending on where in Sweden you live. In a normal year, a lot of families use this break to go skiing in the Swedish mountains. At the time of writing, the ski resorts remain open, but the Public Health Agency has issued guidelines on how to travel safely – although some regions advise against travelling at all.

What's the current situation in Dalarna [a region in central Sweden and home to popular ski resort Sälen]?

We don't have the highest incidence in Sweden. The cases have been increasing a little bit over the last three weeks from a relatively low level, but the travel obviously makes it difficult to foresee what's coming. So I'm a little bit worried about what's going to happen.

What are your worries?

I hope it won't happen, but if the cases increase in the ski resorts, they're going to take their disease back to their home counties, and if we see a lot of increase in those counties, it could mean more patients in hospital.

We're in the second week of the 'sport holiday', how has it been going so far?

It's going fairly well. We had a meeting with the Public Health Agency and the regional government today. In the ski resorts in Dalarna, they are following the rules pretty well, but when they go shopping on the way to the ski resorts, it gets crowded in the shops and in the petrol stations on the way up.

So what are you going to do about this? Are you going to recommend that people shop before they travel up?

We've done that before, but we're going to repeat that message again. We're going to repeat it in Dalarna, and also the Public Health Agency is going to issue it as a national recommendation.

What will it take for the sport holiday not to lead to a surge in infections?

It's very important that people follow the rules in the ski resorts, to keep their distance and avoid crowded areas, especially indoors.

I don't think the problem is outside. If you're outside, the risk of spreading the disease is minimal. The high risk is crowded places indoors – shops and restaurants – and so far, it's not crowded in the restaurants, and the ski lounges are closed during the day.

If you just stay with your family or your travel companions when you're indoors, it's not that risky. It's when you have parties with other people, and mix with other people, that there's a problem. Then it can spread from one travelling company to another.

If a family go up there, get sick, take a test and go home, that's not going to spread the disease.

Anders Lindblom is the infectious diseases doctor for Dalarna. Photo: Region Dalarna

If you had been able to decide, would you have wanted the ski resorts to close?

I can't decide myself whether people can travel. If the government and the Public Health Agency allow travelling, what I can do is make it as safe as possible for people to be in the ski resorts.

So I'm having a lot of discussions with the companies up there, at the lifts, and at the hotels, and at the shops, so that not too many people go in there, that they can rent skis outdoors, and to make sure that the restaurants follow the rules.

As far as we see right now, the spread of Covid-19 is not that extensive. But I think there's a risk that people don't follow the rules.

How are you getting the message out so far?

From the ski resorts, when people are booking their trip there, or the hotel or a cabin, they get the message from the vendors, and we repeat the message whenever we get interviewed, and I think the Public Health Agency are going to repeat the message when they speak to the media on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


People skiing in Sälen on Tuesday. Photo: Gustaf Månsson/SvD/TT

A cluster of the variant first discovered in South Africa has been found in Sälen. Is there a risk the resort could become a centre point for growth of that particular variant?

We saw some spread among the inhabitants in Sälen, but that is going down. We don't know about the tourists.

What could it mean for the spread of that particular variant? If there's so many people coming in and out of the resort, is there a risk that it could really get established?

I think it's already established. The risk is that it's going to spread around Sweden. That's the problem, and it could be that when people from Dalarna go on their spring vacation, they can get affected and spread it when they come home as well.

What's coming next? Are there new recommendations on the way?

We discussed the situation with the Public Health Agency on Friday, and we did it yesterday [Monday] and today [Tuesday] as well. They are going to talk to the government, and see what they should do. 

I think they're going to tighten up the restrictions that we already have, that's for sure. I'm not sure if they're going to make any new restrictions.

When do you expect the new restrictions?

The Public Health Agency has told us that it is going to be this week.

What other actions have you taken? 

We have a lot of test stations in the ski resorts, so you can go there and get tested every day. I think we have four test stations. What we are advising people to do is, if you get sick, get a test, and stay home until you get a result. If it's positive, then then you should go home.

So I suppose the big test will be when Stockholm has its sport holiday next week?

We had Gothenburg last week, and we have Skåne this week. There have been a lot of people in the ski resorts this week and last week, but maybe it's going to be more people next week.