According to Statistics Finland, there are approximately 2.9 million apartments in Finland, roughly 2.6 million of them with permanent residents. Approximately 900,000 of the apartments are rental apartments, and 838,000 of these have permanent residents. Around 45 per cent of the apartments are in apartment buildings.
Source: The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT (CFCI)
The majority of rental apartments in Finland are owned by private landlords. In addition to them, the operators in the rental housing market include professional housing investors, rental apartment owners, housing funds and municipal rental housing companies.
According to KTI Property Information Ltd’s Market Review 2016, the past year will be recorded in history as a peak year for residential construction, mainly due to privately financed rental housing production. The property transaction volume also reached a record level in 2016. Apartment portfolio trade was active: the volume of portfolio transactions exceeded EUR 2 billion. Foreign investors are also interested in Finland.
Demand for rental housing remained high in growth centres. However, differences between regions increased and, in some regions, supply and demand were in balance. The strongest demand focused on smaller apartments, that is, studios and one-bedroom apartments. The increase in rents slowed. According to Statistics Finland, the prices of old apartments in apartment blocks and row houses rose somewhat throughout the country. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, the increase in prices was higher than in other parts of the country.
New construction clearly focused on privately financed rental apartments. The market situation for the construction of owner-occupied apartments facilitated contract project negotiations in rental housing development. Continuing urbanisation can be seen in the growing number of apartment buildings being built in growth centres.
Slow zoning and the lack of suitable plots remain bottlenecks in operations.