On 6 Dec 2013
Innovative family housing from Sweden,
P N Dr Lo R said:
When you see the word "innovative" it's best to substitute the word "goofy" in its place (the same applies to the word "alternative" as well, as in "alternative" school, medicine, lifestyle, church, et al). Such houses look both like a converted shed or small barn or also prefab. I thought this part of Bellingham's post gave an interesting insight into Swedish policies which only contribut to this nonsense:
"I work in Sweden every week (Stockholm) - lived here for 7 months last year and was looking at buying property. The strangest thing about buying in Stockholm is that if you buy an apartment (most people live in apartments) which will cost you say 3 million - 5 million SEK (£300K - £500K) for a modest apartment, get this - YOU DON'T EVEN OWN IT! You buy are buying shares in the company that owns the building and own the right to occupy one apartment. All rights you have on this apartment are severely limited - If you want to rent it out legally, they may let you do it for 6 months but if you don't live in it personally for 6 months (1 year in some cases) they will force you to sell your share. If you rent it out legally it will be at rent controlled prices which will no-where near cover the mortgage repayments.
People in Stockholm absolutely only 'buy' property as an investment expecting it to go up in value - there are almost no other advantages to owning it. If you are a Stockholmer, you typically join the social housing 'queue' when you are about 16 (previously parents used to add their newborn babes to the queue but I don't think that's allowed any more). If you are on the queue for say 10-20 years you have a chance to rent an old-build apartment in the city center and you pay a quite small rent which reflects the fact that the building is old and has already been paid for. You may pay about £400 for an apartment in the old town which would be valued at £2 million. If you have been on the queue 5-10 years you may get a new build fairly close to the city center for say £1000 per month rent. Or if on the queue for 2 years pay £600 to rent a small apartment in a suburb 5 to 8 kilometers from the center in a 90% immigrant area, though still on the outskirts of the metro/underground. This is if you are a lucky one who can even join the social housing queue.
Most immigrants and Swedes from outside Stockholm have no choice but to sub-let from someone who got the apartment on the queue or an 'owner'. Rents are controlled and people subletting are only legally allowed to charge 10% more than the apartment would be rented out directly from the co-op company that own the building. What actually happens is that people who got the rental on the social housing queue or 'own' the apartment charge massive illegal rents and a blind eye is often turned to this practice. There is a massive underclass of disenfranchised people in Stockholm, may of whom can't even join the social housing queue because you first must get a 'personal number' (a bit like a NI number), these a jealously guarded by the powers that be and while you can live in Stockholm without one you can't even go and see a doctor without it! Stockholm is set up for Stockholmers, immigrants work as cleaners. Hence riots.
'Property' prices are held up by:
1. speculation mainly
2. immigrants/outsiders who have done well and want to 'buy' to avoid having to wait 20 years on the social housing queue . 95% of housing in Stockholm is owned by social co-op companies.
If you buy a free-hold house (of which there are few), expect to pay £4,000 in council tax equivalent each year (I think they reduced this recently but still high)"