Crisis impacts Finland’s buying and renting house markets

A new survey found regional differences in house rentals during the period of April when Uusimaa was on lockdown.

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File picture, aerial panorama of Helsinki / Credit: iStock

The coronavirus crisis is having a negative impact on Finland’s housing market.

Mortgage credit association Hypo says it could lead to a 2% fall in house prices across the country this year, but a strong start to 2020 will save the market from falling further, while mortgage repayment relief will protect against foreclosures.

Hypo predicts a rapid change in the situation on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Prices will start to rise sharply next year if the return to everyday life continues without big setbacks” says Juhana Brotherus, Hypo’s Chief Economist.

“We forecast prices in the Helsinki metropolitan area will rise by 3% next year, and at the national level the rise will be 1.5%” he adds.

Meanwhile a survey of Finnish landlords in April revealed that those in Uusimaa found it more difficult than other parts of the country to find tenants – a time which coincided with a regional lockdown of Uusimaa’s borders.

However by May things had evened out and about 40% of respondents said it was difficult finding tenants for their properties, no matter where in the country it was located.

“The differences in the responses to the April and May surveys between Uusimaa and the rest of Finland suggest that the regional virus situation plays a key role for future prospects of the local rental housing market” says Sakari Rokkanen, an economist at the Finnish Landlords Association Suomen Vuokranantajat which carried out the survey.

“It is of paramount importance for both the rental market and the recovery of the entire economy to get the epidemic under control throughout Finland” he adds.