A studio in Stockholm or a castle in countryside?

A studio in Stockholm or a castle in countryside?
A sign advertising an ongoing apartment viewing in Sweden. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
The gap between Sweden's least and most affordable homes is growing. The average apartment in the capital now goes under the hammer for the price of 17 similar digs elsewhere in the Nordic country.

Property prices are soaring in Sweden. But not everywhere – and the gap between different parts of the country is growing even more rapidly, figures from Svensk Mäklarstatistik, which compiles data for estate agents, revealed on Friday.

“There's an enormous housing shortage in Sweden and it is not surprising that property prices are continuing to rise and that there are huge variations,” explained Ingrid Eiken, chief executive of the Association of Swedish Real Estate Agents (Mäklarsamfundet).

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After a summer dip – which saw apartment prices fall by 1.0 percent in June compared to the previous month – those in the market for selling their homes can expect to make a sizeable profit this autumn, especially in Sweden's biggest cities.

So, if you are hoping to buy your own living space in central Stockholm, you can expect to cough up 86,617 kronor ($10,222) per square metre. In more practical terms, that translates to around 4.7 million kronor for the average apartment on offer in the capital. For the same price you can snap up 17 different similar homes in, for example, the town of Härnösand in northern Sweden, Friday's figures revealed.

Property prices are soaring in the Swedish capital. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

On average, apartment prices have risen by 14 percent across Sweden in the past year, compared to 17 percent in Stockholm, 8 percent in Malmö and a whopping 22 percent in Gothenburg. Meanwhile, the average price for a detached home has gone up by 10 percent.

But Eiken believes there is little risk of a bursting housing bubble, as long as Sweden's interest rate and the number of available apartments both remain at historically low levels.

“Households also trust that prices are going to continue upwards, our studies show. And the more people think that, the more likely it is that it is going to be the case,” she said.

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However, prices are not soaring everywhere. In semi-rural towns like Ludvika in central Swedish region Dalarna, they have fallen by 7 percent as movers instead flock to nearby Falun – which has seen a 33 percent rise.

“In each county there is almost always one town that is the so-called growth town – like Växjö, Linköping or Luleå – often a town with a higher education seat where students head, and that's where the prices increase, while they fall in other towns,” said Eiken.

And despite the soaring property prices, the Swedish market does still offer surprisingly cheap bargains – as long as you stay out of the bigger cities.

Johan Vesterberg, head of press for Sweden's largest estate agent, Fastighetsbyrån, told The Local earlier this year that with just a €100,000 budget “you can find a decent property in most parts of the country”.

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Properties in Sweden