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Strong fourth quarter boosted Finnish housing market in 2017

Finland's housing market is increasingly concentrated on larger cities, while prices decline in depopulating rural areas.

Pysäköintitalo P-Pergamentti ja KOAS:n tornitalo Kankaalla.
New construction in Jyväskylä. Image: Arvo Vuorela / Yle

The value of housing purchases in Finland rose to some 19 billion euros last year, the Central Federation of Finnish Real Estate Agencies (KVKL). Business picked up particularly towards the end of 2017, the industry group said on Tuesday.

Prices for previously-owned flats in the Helsinki region edged up by around 2.5 percent per square metre. In the rest of the country, though, they remained nearly the same as in 2016.

The value of sales of pre-owned condominiums rose by around four percent, with sales in the Helsinki area up by about six percent.

Flight to cities

“The fourth quarter of 2017 was good in terms of sales of previously-owned flats, especially in the capital region, where there was a clear uptick in trading,” said KVKL CEO Jukka Malila. “Thanks to the good fourth quarter, overall business clearly grew in 2017.”

The association notes that the housing market is increasingly concentrated on larger cities, with prices conversely dropping in some rural areas suffering from depopulation.

The association estimates that about 38,000 new flats went on sale last year. It notes that its estimate of overall value of the home sales market includes new apartments that came onto the market last year, regardless of whether they were actually sold by year’s end. The estimate is based on data from its member realtors as well as figures from the Tax Administration and Statistics Finland.

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