Skooter reporting 08/20/12
Where do you want to live?
Not surprisingly, central Stockholm, is the most well-liked place to live, on islands and districts close to the Old Town. Södermalm is one of the most popular and once a working class district that is now remarkably hip and trendy. Exceptionally attractive are the areas north of Mariatorget where terraced houses climb Mariaberget, a high hill with spectacular views of the lake and downtown, and SoFo short for South of Folkungagatan, home to media types, designers and artists who oftenly visit the bars, boutiques and bohemian art galleries. The other extremely popular places to live are the wealthy Ostermalm neighborhoods and the quiet Kungholmen which are sitauted in the west and east of Gamla stan. Farther out from the city center, Djursholm is one of the most plushy districts, with large villas and gardens.
According to Alexander Kjellström, estate agent and managing partner of Bostadsagenten realtors, people who are looking to find value for their money regularly search in the Solna suburbs. Surburban Solna is divided into eight districts and is home to many corporations’ headquarters, including Skanska, the construction company, and NextJet, a Swedish regional airline. All the districts have first-rate transport links to Old Town and other parts of Stockholm’s center.
There are 24,000 islands of Stockholm archipelago and Stockholmers sail on day trips or make longer trips to the islands, or even the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Many go to a classic red board stuga or cottage to swim, fish and live the outdoor life. During winter, they usually go for the Swedish resorts of Romme Alpin, Falun and Kungsberget to ski. Fast trains are available to Malmo and Copenhagen just across the Oresund Bridge from Malmo and Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg. It is only 40 minutes away to the town of Uppsala, home to the Uppsala Cathedral and Castle and the oldest university in Sweden. There are regular trips to Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia by ferries.
In just 20 minutes from the center of Stockholm, fast train like the Arlanda Express beat passengers to the airport. Oslo is just a one-hour flight away and cities like Paris and London are under two hours.
One should know that the majority of Swedes own their homes or flats - 65% of properties are occupied by the owners, while only 35% are rentals. The preferred choice is buying because rentals take so long to come up in the Swedish system. Kjellström said unless you happen to be on top in the municipal rental list, the waiting period is about 35 years. You can just imagine how long the amazing list is.
Now speaking of house prices - in greater Stockholm prices have dropped from their peak in the first quarter of 2010. In 2011, prices fell 4.4% to an average of 409,000 euro. Kjellström said the market is now slightly up, after having been significantly down for a year and a half. Condos and apartments are mainly the properties available, a typical two-bedroom flat costs around 500,000 euro. A few single-family houses, the market price plays around at 500,000 to one million euro, and seldom you can have a townhouse that can cost anywhere from 2.5 to five million euro.