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Growing market: Foreign buyers behind 4 percent of Finland's 2017 real estate sales

Of the 133,000 properties sold in Finland last year, some 5,200 were bought by international customers, with Estonian, Russian and Chinese buyers topping the list, according to a Finnish real estate firm.

Asuntoesittely Helsingin Töölössä .
File photo of real estate open house showing of a flat in Helsinki. Image: Markku Rantala / Yle

The number of international buyers has increased in the Finnish real estate market, according to real estate agency Kiinteistömaailma. Last year, non-citizens purchased 5,200 residential properties across the country, amounting to some four percent of the 133,000 total sold properties.

There are quite a lot of international customers in the Espoo region, says Kiinteistömaailma's Hannu Salo.

"Their customs may differ somewhat from those of the Finnish buyers but the result is exactly the same," Salo says.

That shows particularly in bidding, where prospective buyers from China and India tend to make offers significantly below the asking price, according to Salo. "In contrast, western customers have more similar thinking to ours and usually offer a price closer to what we would expect," he adds.

The list of international buyers is topped by people from Estonia, Russia and China. Last year, residential properties were also sold to people from Sweden, India, the UK and Ukraine, among others.

Päivi ja Alex Borsody
Image: Markku Pitkänen / Yle

Alex Borsody and his Finnish wife Päivi decided to move from the United States to Finland last year, and bought a house in Tuusula, about an hour's drive north of Helsinki.

In their view, buying a property in Finland was quick and easy. “In the States, purchasing real estate tends to take a couple of months, here we wrapped up the deal in a week,” Alex Borsody says.

“In that sense, Americans could learn from the Finns,” he adds.

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