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Hypo: Rented plots more common for new-build housing

One mortgage lender advises buyers to exercise caution when buying property on a rented plot.

New homes in Finland are now more likely to be built on rented plots. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Around half of new housing units are being built on rented land, according to mortgage lender Hypo’s new housing market report.

The bank says that in Tampere and Oulu up to eight in ten new dwellings are built on rented plots. In the capital city region roughly half of all new housing is built on someone else's land.

Hypo suggests that those considering buying a property on a rented plot should seek a redemption clause that would allow them to buy the plot, or their share of the plot, to secure their investment.

Our weekly All Points North podcast took a deep dive into the Finnish housing market. You can listen to the podcast via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, iTunes or your normal pod player using the RSS feed.

Audio: Yle News

The report also states that one in two residential properties in Finland is losing value. Growth in property prices is concentrated in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, while elsewhere prices are generally falling.

Empty, high-value apartments in the centre of cities are also a problem for decision-makers, according to the Hypo report.

The problem was previously noted by Hypo in Helsinki, but now the share of empty city-centre flats in Tampere, Turku and Oulu has also crept up above ten percent.

While those flats are empty they are not yielding tax revenue for local municipalities, which has an impact on local government finances.

Women warned to haggle hard

According to Hypo, the problem is that low interest rates have prompted wealthy people to move their investments into property as a safe, inflation-proof investment.

It’s a global problem, evident in many larger cities around the world, and now it appears to be affecting the Finnish housing market too.

Hypo also drew attention to US research that suggests women tend to overpay when negotiating property purchases.

The bank says that this could prove costly in the long-run.

"It could mean up to a year’s salary lost, when you take into account all the housing purchases made over a lifetime," said Hypo Chief Economist Juhana Brotherus.

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