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Housing sales brisk in most Finnish towns

Apartment sales rose sharply in Vaasa and Kouvola, but slumped in Lappeenranta and Pori.

An economic upswing is spurring home-buyers, says the chain's CEO. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Housing sales were lively through most of Finland last year, says one of the country’s biggest real estate chains. An economic upswing, strong employment figures and low interest rates all helped to encourage buyers, Huoneistokeskus said on Monday.

Sales of older homes rose by two percent last year compared with a year earlier, while new home sales were also up.

The firm’s CEO, Ari-Matti Purhonen, predicts that trading on the market will continue to grow this year.

Older detached homes were particularly in demand in the capital-region bedroom community of Espoo, were sales shot up by nearly one fifth. In Helsinki itself, detached house sales grew by nine percent – but they remained stuck at 2016 levels in its northern suburb of Vantaa. In the south-western city of Turku, sales of detached houses rose by seven percent.

Meanwhile, there were sharp regional differences in sales growth for older flats:

Vaasa 11%

Kouvola 11%

Turku 8%

Vantaa 6%

Espoo 4%

Helsinki 4%

Kuopio 2%

Tampere 1%

In the west-coast town if Pori, sales dropped by 15 percent, and in the eastern city of Lappeenranta they declined by 13 percent.

Huoneistokeskus, one of Finland’s oldest, largest real estate chains, still has close ties to its former owner, Nordea Bank.