Real Estate

House Hunting in Sweden: A Sauna-Topped Water Tower Near Stockholm

This four-bedroom home is a transformed, 108-foot water tower on Vaxon, an island in the Stockholm Archipelago, about 35 minutes east of central Stockholm, Sweden’s capital. The brick tower was constructed in 1923 on one of many highest factors in the realm to produce ingesting water, and was getting used as a reserve as late as 1989, mentioned Jan Tivenius, an agent with Residence-Christie’s International Real Estate, which has the itemizing.

The present house owners purchased it in 2000 and transformed it right into a seven-story dwelling with an electrical sauna on the lantern-like prime. The property, on a couple of third of an acre inside a hilly park with pine timber, has appreciable income-generating potential, Mr. Tivenius mentioned: Telecom corporations presently lease antennae area on the tower’s rooftop, and a small residence over a two-car storage in a separate A-frame wooden cabin can be rented out.

An unpaved driveway wends up the hill to the tower’s essential entrance, which opens into the mixed kitchen, dwelling and eating space, with 16-foot ceilings and herringbone oak flooring. The round brick partitions are lined with massive arched home windows. A second entrance on the again supplies entry to a wooden deck.



The base of the tower has two concentric partitions — an interior circle with an outer hall round it — a configuration that was seemingly supposed to supply added help for the water tank above, Mr. Tivenius mentioned. The hall supplies area for a pantry, a toilet and an office nook, in addition to the wooden staircase to the flooring above.

The second flooring has three bedrooms, a toilet and a storage room. Porthole-style home windows present mild.

The main suite and one other toilet take up the third flooring, the place the tile flooring has a glass cutout to see beneath.

The fourth flooring is an open space that the house owners have variously used as a music room, tv room and visitor room. The fifth and sixth flooring was the water tank; a flooring now separates the 2. The fifth flooring is used for storage, and the sixth flooring has a toilet and a computer room to accommodate the telecom gear.

The property sits subsequent door to a preschool on the east facet of Vaxon, which stretches about two miles from finish to finish and gives an lively harbor, in addition to quite a few outlets and eating places. The island is a part of Vaxholm municipality, a Baltic Sea archipelago comprising 70 islands and about 5,000 residents. A sequence of bridges connects the islands to central Stockholm; the bus from Vaxon takes about an hour. Ferries additionally take vacationers to Vaxholms Kastell, an enormous island fortress first constructed in the sixteenth century to defend Stockholm.

After a stoop in 2017 and 2018, Sweden’s housing costs are hovering as soon as once more. Prices had been up 7.5 p.c final year over 2019, with a record-high variety of transactions, in accordance with a report from Nordea, a big Nordic financial institution. The authorities company Statistics Sweden reported an general value enhance of 6 p.c for one- and two-dwelling buildings, and 10 p.c value development for trip properties.

That development has been pushed nearly completely by demand for homes, versus condos and different flats, mentioned Susanne Spector, an economist and the chief analyst for Nordea. As in many different markets across the globe, the pandemic has shifted consumers’ priorities towards properties with backyard area and room to work remotely, she mentioned.

The provide of properties is restricted, as “the normal rotation of older people moving from their houses to city centers has been broken, since people have to stay home,” she mentioned.

Unlike most different European international locations, Sweden has relied closely on voluntary measures to sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus, somewhat than impose strict lockdown measures. As of April 2, the country had reported 813,191 Covid-19 circumstances and 13,498 deaths. Its excess mortality rate in 2020 was significantly decrease than in most European international locations, however increased than in its Nordic neighbors.

Nevertheless, shopper confidence has continued to develop, additional fueling value development. Many households really feel nicely positioned to purchase, Ms. Spector mentioned: “Household wealth increased during 2020 — it was a very good year for households overall. Most people have kept their jobs, interest rates are low, and the stock market has boomed.”

Competition for homes is so fierce that, throughout the first month of 2021, bidding wars drove up promoting costs to a mean of 8 p.c above asking, in accordance with Erik Holmberg, a market analyst for Hemnet, a Swedish itemizing website. In February, the common time on market for homes hit an all-time low of 18 days, he mentioned.

Camilla Eggenberger, an agent overseeing Swedish gross sales for Fantastic Frank, mentioned that in her 33 years in the market, she’s by no means seen this huge a divide between the demand for homes versus flats. Everyone needs a chunk of land, she mentioned.

“The Swedish people are known for being very concerned about how they live,” she mentioned. “We spend a large amount of our income on our homes. Now more than ever people are cocooning, and I think they’re spending even more money on their homes.”

In larger Stockholm, with about 2.4 million residents in the metropolitan space, the market for homes is extraordinarily brisk. “It’s crazy, really,” Mr. Tivenius mentioned. “Prices have risen 15 to 20 percent in a year.”

In the suburban areas instantly across the metropolis, homes usually common 10 to fifteen million Swedish krona ($1.14 million to $1.72 million), relying on the realm, he mentioned. Anything cheaper than that may require appreciable renovation. More unique properties are priced between 15 and 20 million krona ($1.72 million to $2.29 million), with seafront properties usually nearer to 35 million ($4 million), he mentioned.

Apartments in central Stockholm common round 100,000 krona a sq. meter, or $1,060 a sq. foot, he mentioned.

Foreign consumers make up a small share of householders in Sweden. In 2020, Statistics Sweden reported that 37,979 trip properties had been foreign-owned — about 6 p.c of the full. Norwegians accounted for a couple of third of these house owners, intently adopted by Germans and Danes, at 27 p.c every. Another 2.2 p.c are owned by Swedes dwelling overseas.

In Stockholm, fewer than 1 p.c of trip properties are overseas owned.

Ms. Eggenberger mentioned her nonresident consumers are sometimes diplomats or Swedish residents who’re returning to the nation after working elsewhere for a few years “with a lot of money to spend.”

There aren’t any restrictions on overseas consumers in Sweden. It is often not essential to hire a lawyer — the vendor’s agent usually handles the whole lot in the transaction, Mr. Tivenius mentioned.

In larger Stockholm, the agent’s fee can fluctuate, however on homes it often averages round 1.5 to 2 p.c, he mentioned.

Swedish; Swedish krona; 1 krona = $0.11

Buyers pay a stamp responsibility of 1.5 p.c of the acquisition value. It applies solely to homes, to not flats, Ms. Eggenberger mentioned.

The annual property taxes on this home are about 8,500 krona ($970).

Jan Tivenius, Residence-Christie’s International Real Estate, 011-46-70-617-96-06; christiesrealestate.com

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