Housing costs in Finland are rising at an unprecedented pace, according to a recent study by the Finnish Homeowners Association. The study found that local fees and charges are continuing to rise, with the highest increase in housing costs occurring in Kalajoki in the province of Northern Ostrobothnia, where costs have risen by almost €3,700 ($4,400) in just one year. On average, housing costs have risen by €1,671 ($1,989) in the past year, including electricity, water, and waste disposal charges, as well as property taxes.

The rise in housing costs and the large differences between municipalities are primarily due to the increase in the price of electricity, which has risen by an average of 46% from a year ago. Waste disposal charges have increased by an average of 6.7%, property taxes by 6.3%, and water charges by 4.1%.

The most expensive municipality for housing costs was Laukaa in the Jyväskylä region, where costs are €8,466 ($10,083) per year. The next most expensive municipalities were Lempäälä, Ylöjärvi, Asikkala, and Pirkkala. The study compared 100 municipalities across Finland. The cheapest municipality was Kittilä in Lapland, where housing costs are €4,681 ($5,573) per year. Thus, the difference between the cheapest and most expensive municipalities is €3,785 ($4,502) per year. This difference has increased slightly from last year when it was €3,361 ($3,996).

The Finnish Homeowners Association's CEO, Marju Silander, emphasized that policymakers must take action to reduce housing costs during the next parliamentary term. "Currently, an increasing proportion of people's available income is going towards basic needs such as electricity, water, and waste disposal fees. When combined with rapidly rising mortgage rates and increasing repair costs due to future building energy efficiency obligations, the cost of housing and its rise becomes unsustainable," Silander said.

The sharp rise in electricity transmission costs in recent years appears to have slowed, which Silander considers a step in the right direction. However, there is still work to be done. "Transmission costs must be reduced, and unreasonable profits must be eliminated," she said.

The study also found significant differences between municipalities in other costs. The highest water charges are now paid in Parikkala, where the cost is €1,651 ($1,965) per year, while the lowest water charges are in Kempele at €549 ($653) per year.

The highest waste disposal charges are in Asikkala and Heinola, where they are €391 ($465), while the lowest charges, €133 ($158), are in Tampere and its neighboring municipalities of Kangasala, Pirkkala, Nokiala, and Lempäälä.

The transition to municipal waste management has reduced costs in some municipalities, such as Sysmä, where costs have fallen by 21%. The study highlights the importance of government action to address rising housing costs and promote more affordable housing.