Is the Helsinki housing market like the Dutch housing market?

I am wondering about that. I am not an expert on housing policies, and only to some extent are tax rules on deduction of interest in mortgage similar in Finland and the Netherlands, but consider these similarities:

– space constrained: the Netherlands is a small country in which physical space is very much constrained for building real estate, in particular in the West. Helsinki is similarly space constrained: on one side is the sea, on the other sides there are other municipalities. As in the Netherlands, Helsinki has a few areas of nature which the locals value very much for their intrinsic value and recreation, which leads to resistance to their ‘development’ (see here).

– Helsinki experiences an influx of people from elsewhere in the country (see the last graph in this post), much like the West of the Netherlands (by and large)

– Helsinki, like parts of many cities in the Netherlands, has especially in the inner city lots of buildings which are especially valued for their location, style or age (think pre-1960s flats and especially the 1930s Jugendstil buildings). Many of these are, in addition to normal residental use, in use by companies, which pushes their value up, I guess.

 

One of the problems in Helsinki, which is incidentally also the big problem in the Netherlands, is that there are not enough suitable houses/apartments for so-called starters, i.e. first-time buyers (young people). Or put in another way – there are too few of them or they are simply too expensive. Because of the space constraints new such residencies are built in locations where young people may not necessarily want to to live as a first choice (i.e. far from the center).

 

Taking into account that the Netherlands and Finland (/Helsinki) are experiencing housing bubbles (which are now deflating in all likelihood, at least in the Netherlands), what would be sensible steps to make the housing markets in the Netherlands and Helsinki work better?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s