The price of a fritidshus (the official term for a summer or holiday house, also called ‘sommarstuga’) in Sweden has risen by a huge 40 percent over the last five years.
Even over the past year alone, which has seen apartment prices plummet, the cost of a summer house has continued to climb, with an average eight percent increase across the whole country, according to Svensk Mäklarstatistik which provides data on Swedish real estate.
“The strong development in the housing market in recent years has made it possible for many to be able to borrow money on their existing homes to invest in holiday homes,” explained Tanja Ilic, CEO at estate agent Svensk Fastighetsförmedling which analyzed the figures. While a new amortization requirement could stunt this trend, summer houses are likely to remain an attractive prospect for affluent buyers.
Those buying a summer house between May 2017 and April 2018 spent an average of 1,664,315 kronor on the property, the same statistics show, though the average price varied across the country.
The municipality where summer house prices have increased the most is Hudiksvall in Gävleborg, where summer houses got 29 percent more pricey over the past 12 months.
The next steepest increases were observed in the municipalities of Berg in Jämtland, northern Sweden (29 percent), Gävle (26 percent), Älvdalen in central Dalarna (22 percent) and Strömstad in Västra Götaland (17 percent).
The Drottningholm Palace on Ekerö. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
In the Stockholm area, prices rose by an average of seven percent over the past year, but in the lakeside area of Ekerö, that number was much higher at 26 percent.
The areas in Greater Stockholm where summer house prices have remained most stable are in Österåker and Södertälje — with the latter boasting the cheapest fritidshus in the whole region. The average Stockholm holiday house was relatively expensive (2,543,194 kronor), but there were significant differences across the region, ranging from 1,701,600 kronor in Södertälje to 4,315,146 in Värmdö.
Skåne in southern Sweden is another very popular area for holiday homes due to the proximity of both Lund and Malmö and the many beaches and charming villages in the area. There, the price increase over the past year was above the nationwide average, at 11 percent. Across the whole area, Hässleholm saw the biggest rise last year at 27 percent, though the average summer house in the area came with a relatively low price tag: an average of 956,296 kronor, around two thirds of the Skåne average of 1,480,129 kronor.
Since last August, apartment and house prices across Sweden have been falling after years of steady growth. Over the past few months, the average apartment price (measured in cost per square metre) fell by an average of 7.2 percent across Sweden.
IN DEPTH: The story of Sweden's housing crisis