Sales of summer cottages drive real estate boom

Real estate sales picked up last year and a long-term fall in price levels was reversed.

Sales of summer cottages and waterfront lots have shot up since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Image: Jarkko Riikonen / Yle

The number of real estate transactions in Finland increased by almost 10 percent last year amid the coronavirus epidemic, according to figures released by the offices of the National Land Survey.

In total, 70,500 real estate transactions were recorded in 2020.

"The result can be considered something of a miracle during an exceptional year caused by the coronavirus pandemic," Taisto Toppinen, registry manager of the National Land Survey of Finland, stated in a press release.

In particular, sales of waterfront cottages and plots increased, and cottage prices began to rise after a long period of decline. About 40 percent more waterfront cottages and about 70 percent more undeveloped waterfront lots were sold last year compared to 2019.

The average price of cottages in zoned areas rose by around 6 percent to 90,000 euros.

"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, an excellent number of summer cottage transactions were made. On the other hand, the number of cottage sales has been growing for several years," Toppinen added.

Real estate agents have previously said that the pandemic spurred demand for safe places within Finland to spend free time, and to use for telecommuting.

Sales of forest lands also registered growth. More than 4,700 forest holdings of over two hectares were sold in 2020. The median price in the whole country remained at the previous year's level of approximately 2,900 euros per hectare.

Figures from the National Land Survey also show that the most expensive detached houses in the country last year were located in Espoo. The median price of real estate transactions in Espoo in 2020 was almost 540,000 euros, an increase of 16 percent compared to the previous year.