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Monday's papers: Tick onslaught, property investment and Midsummer weather

Monday's papers look at the spread of ticks, risks facing property investors and whether a repeat of last Midsummer's freezing temperatures are likely.

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Image: AOP

Daily Helsingin Sanomat warns that Finland will face an onslaught of ticks as the disease-spreading parasite gradually spreads north. "There’s no doubt about that," says Heikki Hentonen from the Natural Resources Institute. “Taiga ticks are spreading and deer that carry all kinds of ticks are on the rise. For ticks, the conditions are just getting better.”

Ticks carry Lyme disease and encephalitis and have been spotted in places north of the Arctic Circle where they have been transported by hunting dogs from the south. There are more ticks than before in the traditional habitats of Åland, south-western Finland and the coastal areas, Helsingin Sanomat says, and their habitat is slowly spreading to the east and north.

Ticks have existed since the time of the dinosaurs and getting rid of them is not simple, according to Helsingin Sanomat. Experiments in the Netherlands show that by keeping deer off an area reduces the amount of ticks there within two years. One way to do this in Finland would be to allow the lynx population to grow, the paper says.

Higher interest rates

Tampere-based daily Aamulehti highlights another risk facing Finns, namely the expected rise in interest rates, which in turn could scare investors away from the property market. Citing economist Juhana Brotherus, the paper says the amount of loans taken out for real estate investment has increased from 2 billion in 2007 to about 10 billion euros now.

Because interest rates have been record-low in the past years, investors have made good profits. However, with higher interest rates, investors are likely to move on to more profitable investments, the paper says. As a result, a flood of available properties, in particular new one and two-room apartments, could hit the market and cause significant disturbances, says Olli Kärkkäinen from Nordea.

Kärkkäinen proposes that real estate investors ensure they can manage their payments if interest rates rise to 6 percent. "The rates will not be anywhere near 6 percent within the next three years, but the conditions for investors will change in any case," he adds.

Midsummer sun

Tabloid Iltalehti says that the weather forecast for Midsummer is looking quite promising. According to a long-term forecast by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the second and third weeks in June will be warmer than average – at least in southern and central Finland. Based on this forecast, there is a good chance that Midsummer will be warm, says Petri Hoppula from the FMI.

Iltalehti reminds readers it will not take much to beat the horror weather last Midsummer when temperatures dropped down to 5 degrees in the night in most of the country. Last year, the highest temperature on Midsummer Eve was recorded in Lieksa in eastern Finland – 17.5 degrees.

This year, Midsummer will be celebrated from Friday 22 June to Sunday 24 June.

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