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Younger set in Finland investing in flats for Airbnb rentals, survey finds

Younger residents of Finland are increasingly buying second flats in order to rent them out on the popular short-term, online rental service Airbnb, according to a survey of real estate agents across the country.

Kameralle selin oleva nainen petaa valkeita aluslakanoita parisänkyyn.
File photo of a bed being made at an Airbnb rental flat. Image: Anna Nevalainen / Yle

People in Finland are increasingly buying second apartments as an investment rather than a place to live, according to a survey of real estate agents carried out by real estate firm Kiinteistömaailma.

The real estate company's CEO Erkki Heikkinen says that residential property investments are no longer a practice exclusive to professional investors.

"They can be normal folks who want plan their economies. That's a major reason for [recent] improvements on the housing market," Heikkinen says.

Nearly all the real estate agents who answered the survey said that residential properties are gaining in popularity, according to Heikkinen.

The typical apartment-as-investment customers are young couples who buy a second home without selling off the one they reside in, he says.

Young couples investing

The short-term housing rental service Airbnb, which was first used to rent out rooms in lived-in homes, has turned into a more business-minded affair.

These days, investment firms are known to buy flats for the sole purpose of renting them on Airbnb, a service that is increasingly popular among younger travellers around the world.

Due to its growing use, Airbnb has been accused of disrupting the real estate markets of big cities and indirectly raising housing prices.

In its survey, Kiinteistömaailma queried 419 real estate agents across Finland. The company says that it expects a lively autumn for the housing market, and that housing sales have increased by some 15 percent compared to last year.

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