Housing crisis forces record number of young Swedes to live at home: report

The Local Sweden
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Housing crisis forces record number of young Swedes to live at home: report
Finding an apartment is not an easy task for young people in Sweden. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

A record number of young Swedes continue to live at home with their parents out of necessity despite wanting to live on their own, according to a new report from the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen).

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213,000 young people in Sweden aged between 20 and 27 are currently living with their parents – almost a quarter (24 percent) of the age group. That's the highest number since Hyresgästföreningen started researching the figures in 1997, when the proportion was 15 percent.

"Having a home is a prerequisite for a young adult to develop their dreams, their self-esteem and their lives. And that's crucial for the well-being of a society as a whole," Hyresgästöreningen senior analyst Love Börjeson said in a statement.

"It is not fair that 213,000 young people who want to have their own home lack one. Far more must be built," he added.

Just under 57 percent of Sweden's young people have their own home through either owning the property, a 'first-hand' rental contract from the owner of the building, or a bostadsrätt (the right to an apartment in a cooperative owned building), according to the report.

That is the lowest measured proportion ever, with a major contributing factor being the proportion of young adults with their own first-hand rental contract decreasing. At the same time, the proportion living at home with their guardians or through insecure forms of rental has increased.

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Around a quarter of the 200,000 young people who have left their parental home meanwhile have a 'second-hand' (sublet) rental contract or are a lodger in someone else's home.

And 80 percent of the young people who still live at home with their parents said they want to move out within the next year.

"The study shows that those who still live at home in general have a significantly poorer economic situation and greater financial vulnerability than those who have moved. For example, unemployment is higher among them than people who have their own homes," Börjeson noted.

As a solution the union proposes that Sweden's municipalities should create a housing guarantee for young people up to the age of 25, giving them priority when first hand rental contracts become available – a move that has already been trialled in some municipalities like Sundbyberg and Helsingborg.

Sweden's housing crisis means it is often a struggle to find stable rental contracts, with nine out of ten Swedes now living in a municipality facing housing shortages.

As of January 2017, the total number of people in queue for a rental contract from Stockholm’s Housing Agency (Bostadsförmedlingen) alone was 556,000 people, meaning it would take almost 50 years for all of those on the list to earn a standard long-term rental contract.

READ ALSO: Inside Sweden's housing crisis


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