Why so many overseas investors are buying property in Sweden

Why so many overseas investors are buying property in Sweden
Properties in Linköping, one of the smaller cities that has benefited from the rising interest. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT
Swedish properties are experiencing record high interest from overseas investors, with areas outside the larger cities the most in demand.

This year, the Swedish property market is expected to reach 170 billion kronor, which would make 2020 the third strongest year ever in Sweden, according to a new report from property consultancy Newsec.

Its authors believe the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated and strengthened several market trends.

“It is as if the market has jumped forward in time. During the year, several ongoing trends have developed at a pace that actually should have taken significantly more time,” said Max Barclay, the Nordic head of Newsec.

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He said there are several explanations for the increased overseas interest in Swedish property. During 2020's first quarter, overseas investors represented 35 percent of deals on the Swedish property market, the highest proportion since before the 2008 financial crisis.

“The combination of allocating more money in property – because there are few alternatives – and the fact that the Nordics are seen to have coped better financially with the crisis than many other countries, means the international interest has never been greater,” he said. 

Another change which has been seen among overseas as well as domestic buyers is an increasing trend to buy property outside the major cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

The market outside these areas has represented 46 percent of the total so far this year, up from 37 percent in 2019. 

Smaller cities like Västerås, Örebro and Linköping have become popular at a faster rate than predicted, partly due to the growing trend towards home-working, allowing workers to commute to the office only a few days per week or not at all, allowing them to live further from the major cities.

“This benefits the attractiveness of regional cities because they are a good alternative to major cities with lower prices and high quality of life,” said Barclay.

An analysis from Deutsche Bank's asset management arm, DWS, also noted the growing interest in Swedish property from overseas.

“The Swedish property market offers long and stable incomes in a key European  market. This is definitely attractive to international investers, especially in times like these,” said DWS analyst Simon Wallace.

Properties in Sweden

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