Housing crisis worsens in Stockholm – over 800,000 in housing queue

Published 18 September 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Demand for affordable rental apartments in Stockholm soars.

Stockholm is facing its most acute housing shortage ever, with 810,000 people currently in line for rental apartments. This disproportionately affects low-income individuals. Marika Nordström, Head of Marketing and Communication at Bostadsförmedlingen, said the demand for cheaper housing options is surging.

The waiting time for cheaper apartments has increased by 1.5 years, Nordström told media, highlighting that the overall queue time has only increased by two months. She noted that interest in rentals has risen, particularly as rising interest rates make ownership less accessible.

This year, over 4,000 new applicants per month have joined the housing queue. Demand is especially high for cheaper rentals those under 1,600 SEK per square meter per year. Landlords often require tenants to have an income three times the annual rent, a rule that severely impacts low-income groups.

Marika Nordström, Bostadsförmedlingen (Stockholm Housing Agency). Photo: Bostadsförmedlingen

Meanwhile, middle and high-income earners find it easier to secure newly built, expensive apartments with little to no wait time. Bostadsförmedlingen has broken its record for the number of allocated apartments, with 2,140 homes given out just in August. However, this must be seen in light of Stockholm’s growing population, which reduces the availability of homes relative to the number of seekers.

The agency expects both longer queues and more allocated homes in 2023, attributing this to delays in new construction projects.

Homes that are starting construction now will only be available to us in two years, Nordström concluded.

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