Tuesday August 03, 2021

Finns for keeping housing costs in check: OP survey

Published : 21 Jul 2021, 01:53

  DF Report

File Photo: VisitFinland.

Finns are prepared to pay for a good home and location but want to keep housing expenses in check, according to a survey commissioned by OP Financial Group.

Lower housing costs and the shift to remote work are tempting many to consider buying a dream home on the fringes of big cities. Men, too, are now more open to living in the countryside, said OP in a press release.

More than half of respondents to OP’s survey charting housing dreams spend less than a thousand euros per month on housing. Modestly priced housing is most prized by single dwellers and students aged 18—34. Households with children are most stretched by housing costs: 34 per cent view their current housing costs as high. Some would be ready to move further from the city centre in search of lower housing costs.

“Most jobs are available in growth centres, but expensive housing is a problem for many Finns. Even if housing costs rose beyond the tolerance level, not all could move away from centres in search of lower-cost housing. On the other hand, growing interest in outskirts and surrounding municipalities has been one of this year’s phenomena,” said Lasse Palovaara, Head of OP Koti.

The increase in remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic has led many to dream of living in quiet areas on the fringes of cities. Men, in particular, are now more open to living in the countryside. Almost 40 per cent of respondents dream of a home with additional floor space and better suited to remote work.

“For OP Koti, purchases of terraced and semi-detached houses have grown most this year — around a fifth more were sold in the first half of this year than in the equivalent period over the last couple of years,” said Palovaara.

Around a third of respondents to OP’s survey felt that the pandemic had affected their housing dreams. Around 23 per cent felt this way a year ago. However, for Finns the dream home remains the same: 59 per cent of respondents said that a detached house would fulfil their dreams.

This was particularly true of young adults and families with children, 67 per cent of whom would rather live in a detached house. Residents of detached houses are also highly satisfied with their homes, since as many as 88 per cent said that they were living in their dream house.

In addition to detached houses, Finns prize sufficient space and a yard of their own. The need for more space is also highlighted amongst detached house dwellers, but spending more time at home has turned the minds of Finns towards energy efficiency. Almost a fifth of detached house residents would like solutions with greater energy-efficiency, in order to control household costs.

In addition to the detached house of their dreams, Finns love spending time in their own holiday home. A total of 32 per cent of respondents own a second home, and almost 90 per cent of them say that they use it as a holiday home for their family. The occupancy rate of second homes clearly rose over the year and only four per cent are now wholly unoccupied, compared to 10 per cent in 2020.

OP commissioned the survey from Taloustutkimus as an online panel held in May. A total of 1,045 people in Finland, aged 18—79, responded to the survey. A corresponding survey was performed in the summer of 2020.