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Swedish house prices rocket faster than anywhere in EU

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Swedish house prices rocket faster than anywhere in EU
A viewing at a Swedish home up for sale. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT
16:37 CEST+02:00
House prices only edged up slightly across Europe last year, but Swedes experienced a massive jump in the cost of buying a new home.
The average cost of snapping up a house in the European Union snuck up by 3.8 percent during 2015. 
 
However in Sweden the figure was a whopping 14.2 percent, putting the country top of a new table looking at property price hikes.
 
The data, released by the EU's number crunching agency Eurostat on Tuesday showed that Hungary (10.3 percent) and the United Kingdom (7.1 percent) were in second and third place.
 
Meanwhile the steepest falls were recorded in Cyprus, Italy and Croatia, which took the bottom trio of spots.
 
 
Sweden's position as a country where it's becoming increasingly tricky for young people to buy their first home emerged as the founders of Swedish streaming site Spotify identified the housing crisis as a core reason they could choose to grow their business in the US rather than Sweden in future.
 
Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon suggested that some international employees felt they had no choice but to buy a property because of Sweden's heated rental sector.
 
"To demand that young people who come to a new country should directly buy expensive condominiums reduces its attractiveness and is not sustainable in the long run," they wrote in an open letter published on Tuesday.
 
Figures released last month show that despite some experts predicting that the real estate market would cool in the Nordic country 2016, the cost of both houses and apartments is once again on the rise as more and more Swedish house hunters line up to look for a new home in time fo summer.
 
Housing price inflation has resulted in Swedish households being among the most indebted in Europe. Mortgage holders on average have a debt that is 366 percent their annual income.
 
Swedish lawmakers announced last month that they were limiting mortgage loans to 105 years in a move designed to tackle both rising prices and debt levels.
 
Elsewhere in Scandinavia, house prices in Finland nudged up just 0.7 percent in 2015, according to the latest Eurostat figures, while Norway saw an increase of 5.4 percent and Danes experienced a jump of 6.5 percent.
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