Sweden’s biggest residential property broker sees unchanged prices in 2012

Fastighetsbyrån, Sweden’s biggest broker of residential property and part of the Swedbank group of businesses, says the majority of staff polled around the country believe property prices will remain static through 2012.

A total of 494 brokers in 250 offices responded to the survey, which asked their views on prices of houses, apartments and holiday homes.

63.2% said that house prices will remain unchanged through next year. That compares to 10.3% who believe prices will go up, and 26.5% who believe they will go down.

For apartments the figures were 68.4%, 18.6% and 13% respectively.

“It is always hard to predict future prices. This year it feels even more difficult becuase so much depends on what happens to the global economy and how Sweden will be affected,” said Lars-Erik Nykvist, chief executive.

“Continued turbulence in the wider world points to lower demand in the housing market. At the same time this is being counterbalanced by lower interest rates and lack of housing. Overall I agree with our brokers, that there will be no great price changes either way.”

Two key trends emerged from the survey. One is that an increasing number of people in the market are selling their existing property first before buying.

The second trend is that fewer buyers want to acquire property requiring renovation.

Both trends are the result of lower margins among property buyers, and more restrictive lending practices by banks, which is leaving less money over from property transactions to be spent on renovating acquired property.


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