A block of flats in Oulu in September 2021. Almost half of highly educated urban dwellers are not even considering buying a home, reveals a survey commissioned by Danske Bank. (Ritva Siltalahti – Lehtikuva)


NEARLY A FIFTH of Finns are considering moving or actively looking to move due to high housing costs, finds a survey commissioned by Danske Bank.

Sari Takala, the director of consumer lending at Danske Bank, told Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday that the survey respondents were asked about the possibility of relocation for the first time, making it difficult to say whether the share of respondents considering moving is high or low.

Sixty per cent of the respondents stated that they have not considered moving.

The survey found that rising housing costs have prompted especially young adults to weigh up their options. While 24 per cent of 18–34-year-olds revealed that they are considering moving or actively looking to move, the corresponding share stood at 19 per cent for 34–54-year-olds.

Almost a third of the respondents who are at least considering moving indicated that they are considering moving to another municipality in search of lower housing costs. About half of them, meanwhile, indicated that they are looking to reduce their housing costs by moving within their current municipality of residence.

Danske Bank on Wednesday also reported that a considerable share of highly educated young urban dwellers appear to have put their home-buying plans on hold, with the share of those considering buying a home falling from 54 per cent in 2021 to 36 per cent in 2023. Similarly, the share of highly educated urban dwellers who are not even considering buying a home has jumped from 34 to 48 per cent in the past two years.

Overall, Finns are only slightly less interest in buying a house than in 2021. Especially in smaller localities, there has been hardly any change in home-buying plans in the past two years.

Takala encouraged young adults to look into the house market, reminding that the situation is opportune particularly for first-time buyers.

“There is supply, the prices have fallen and the incentives for saving for a house have been improved. It makes first-time buyers able to buy a house that they would not have a chance to amid the hot market situation of the pandemic years,” she said in a press release.

“Now first-time home buyers have the time to look for a home that is suitable to them and the opportunity to make a careful offer.”

Takala urged decision makers to make sure regulation intended to rein in household debt does not become an obstacle to aspiring home owners whose financial and life situation enables them to enter the market.

“An owner-occupied house is the dream of many Finns. Realising this dream must be possible for everyone regardless of their family background as long as their financial situation allows,” she argued.

The global situation has likely prompted many highly educated urban dwellers to postpone their home-buying plans, she added to Helsingin Sanomat. As the employment situation and wage development is good for highly educated young urban dwellers, the reason for the waning interest is more likely to be psychological than financial.

“I believe this is more a psychological phenomenon,” she said to the newspaper.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT