Finland’s property market: Bouncing back from the bottom?

Vuosaari, Helsinki Photo: Timo_w2s

2014 continued a downturn in property values, according to KVKL (Finland’s Central Federation of Real Estate Agencies), with the overall market value declining €1 billion year-in-year to a total of €16.5 billion – over €3 billion below the levels recorded in 2012.

Sales also declined, with transactions for old cooperative apartments falling from 67,300 in 2013 to 62,500 in 2014.

Despite this dip – and a 6.5 per cent decrease in the total amount of sold apartments and houses – the beginning of 2015 suggests a turnaround in fortunes for Finland.

According to Statistics Finland’s preliminary data, the prices of dwellings in old blocks of flats and terraced houses edged up 0.1 per cent between January and February 2015. In Greater Helsinki, prices increased 0.4 per cent, offsetting the rest of the country’s 0.2 per cent decline.

Year-on-year, prices remain 1.6 per cent lower across the country in February 2015. Nonetheless, there are signs of improving conditions: the fourth quarter of 2014 saw the first increase in net sales in two years, after seven consecutive quarters of negative figures.

“In the housing market, January and February 2015 were quite similar to 2014. In March, we have seen some slightly positive signs of recovery and increased activity in the market. Hopefully this will continue,” says Jukka Malila, the CEO of KVKL.

At the same time, the property industry also saw employment rise 8 per cent year-on-year in January 2015, ending a period of decline.

“When the housing market is doing well, Finland is also doing well,” adds Malila.