Finland Real Estate Market Overview
Finland has always been famous as a land of dense forests, transparent lakes, clean air and peaceful silence; however, little is known about real life in this country now: after the Russian Empire as a result of the 1917 revolution lost the Grand Duchy of Finland, which eventually proclaimed its independence, those who knew the real situation in this territory significantly decreased.
And even after a century of experts in Finland is not so easy to find. The HomesOverseas.ru portal has prepared material on real estate in Finland with the involvement of the best specialists in this field.
The real estate market in Finland is, first of all, the domestic market, since the main buyers of local square meters are the inhabitants of the country. The share of foreign buyers now amounts to only 4% – 5,200 apartments out of 133,000. In principle, the current figures are close to the data of the peak year 2008, however, adjusted for the fact that ten years ago our compatriots bought more often cottages, and now interest has concentrated on residential and commercial real estate.
According to the Statistics Finland, the number of objects acquired by Russian buyers over the past year amounted to almost 800 cases. It is interesting that in addition to Russians, Estonians and Swedes, Chinese are becoming more and more active among buyers.
Most often, foreigners prefer to buy property in the ski resorts of Lapland and in the central part of the country, while among foreign buyers not only private owners, but also international companies were noticed. A factor in the low demand of local real estate among foreigners is also the fact that in Finland it is impossible to obtain a residence permit.
Foreigners who want to stay in Finland for a long time are advised to do this through business immigration. This process is carried out by contacting the consulting service of companies providing their services to those wishing to organize an enterprise in Finland, to acquire a ready-made business or commercial real estate. By the way, getting a steady income from renting your own property also helps in obtaining a residence permit.
In general, Finland is a country with a stable economy, so the local real estate market is also quite stable. But at the same time, agents selling residential properties complained of a decrease in demand among Russian buyers in previous years, which, however, in 2018 began to gain momentum again. Now there is a steady increase in the number of real estate transactions, which is associated with a constant increase in construction costs and the high cost of new buildings, as a result of which buyers are increasingly giving preference to conditionally secondary housing, in which updates are made in the style of the new time – modern finishing materials, modern equipment and planning and design decisions, decor and more.
As for the situation in the primary market, Finnish new apartment buildings and townhouses are usually built on an interesting location and have a huge number of advantages over secondary housing and are already priced above secondary housing in the neighborhood at the start of sales. The most expensive real estate in Finland is located in the capital, including the satellite city of Helsinki Espoo, where the average cost of a residential property tends to 500,000 euros, and decreases as the population density decreases, while maintaining a rather high bar in Tampere (about 300,000 euros), Turku ( 250,000 euros), Oulu and Kuopio (200,000 euros).
The most active development in Finland is now underway in the Greater Helsinki area, including the cities of Espoo and Vantaa. Every year, tens of thousands of real estate transactions take place in the domestic market, and this figure continues to grow.
Inertia prices are expected to rise another couple of years by 1-2% per year, after which they will stop. In the meantime, the cost of residential real estate remains in the range from 3,000 to 6,000 euros per sq.m. The most popular format is a two-bedroom apartment, but very small studios of about 20 sq.m. also sell well. They are bought by parents to their children, who, after 18 years of age, go on their own swimming. Demand for apartments for short-term rental is also growing, most often with the involvement of the Airbnb service – this type of rental brings owners about two times more income than long-term. Therefore, apartments of 20 square meters in the center of Helsinki are popular not only for students, but also for short-term rental – these options are sold instantly and potential buyers are recorded on the waiting list.
Long-term rental in Finland is very well developed. In the country’s market there are companies that specialize exclusively in this, for example, the Sato and Lumo agencies, each of which manages approximately 20-30,000 apartments. Housing prices vary greatly depending on the city and region.