Real estate market in Finland
In Helsinki you can find very expensive areas with beautiful palaces from the beginning of the 20th century near downtown. There are also modern new buildings there too. Prices vary depending on what part of Helsinki you want to live or if you would rather have a smaller or bigger property. Generally prices have risen slightly during 2008-2009 although during 2006-2007 they rose up 70% which means that people who bought then really got lucky! There is a huge amount of detached houses in Helsinki but also a lot of small apartment buildings built from 1971.
Houses are not very big. Floor size is normally around 100m2 and it’s quite usual for a house to have 1 floor. That tends to be enough space because there are just two people living in the house, sometimes with kids but it’s not common to have over 3 bedrooms which means that you don’t need a huge house really. Furthermore houses are not built very close together, you always have quite some land surrounding your property making them feel more spacious than they actually are. At least the houses I’ve seen looked like this. Of course, bigger properties do exist too though!
When it comes to prices of houses, I really think that everyone should check out their local paper or go visit an estate agent because thereare huge differences depending on the area you want to live in. The cheapest areas are at least 30 min away from Helsinki by public transport (my parents bought their house like 1h30-2h away). On the other hand, I know that houses around Helsinki can get very expensive too even if they aren’t downtown properties.
Also note that there is not much private property out of Finland! As far as I know almost all property belongs to either the government or municipalities which means that it’s hard to find an apartment building with small owners who might be living there and whose kids may play outside etc… so the neighbourhood feels more alive. Instead, most people tend to own condos nowadays instead of flats because it feels safer that way due totheir limited number of owners.
As a conclusion, I would say that the Finnish real estate market (https://www.bluehomes.com/Haus-kaufen-kaufen-Finnland/FIN/de/6FE/schon.html) is quite difficult to understand for foreigners who would like to come and live here. In my opinion property prices are rising too fast which means that if you want to buy a property soon it might be better to go find an apartment building rather than a house. However because houses are seen as a safe investment for the future, they continue rising anyway! That being said, I do think that properties in Helsinki tend to sell really quickly so getting your offer accepted may not be easy… Anyway it’s something worth thinking about while moving here…
The second thing is about being able to speak Finnish before buying a property or at least having someone reliable withyou who can take care of everything for you given that the Finnish system is far from being easy to understand! I know it sounds pretty discouraging but it’s true… It takes a LOT of time and effort to understand why selling a property works this way or another, what kind of fees you have to pay to sell your house etc…
As a conclusion, I would say that there are many great things about living in Finland : firstly, prices are really good. When we first arrived here we were surprised by how much space you could get for a price as low as 300 000 euros!!! That being said, it might be difficult for foreign people who do not speak Finnish or Swedish at least to buy their own home because they will have troubleunderstanding the process and what to expect once they have bought their property.