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PROPERTY

These are Sweden’s most expensive rental apartments

Where is the most expensive rental apartment in Sweden? Perhaps surprisingly, it's not in Stockholm. Here's a look at the ten most expensive rentals from 2019.

These are Sweden's most expensive rental apartments
Gothenburg is home to the most expensive rental apartments in Sweden, according to data from 2019. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/Imagebank.sweden.se

The most expensive home rented out in Sweden in 2019, at 32,160 kronor ($3,325) per month, was a seven-room apartment in central Gothenburg, according to property magazine Hem&Hyra, run by the tenant owners' union Hyresgästföreningen. 

The newly renovated apartment at Kungsportsavenyen 37 was almost 6,000 kronor more expensive than the second rental on the list, which is located in the same building. The building was built in 1897 and is situated along Gothenburg's iconic boulevard, often simply called Avenyn (The Avenue). 

The top ten priciest rentals, according to Hem&Hyra's analysis of 2019 data from housing associations and municipal companies in Sweden's five largest municipalities, were found in the most affluent areas of Sweden's three major cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

But there were also very expensive apartments on the rental market elsewhere.

Last year a five-room apartment in central Uppsala went on the market for 19,817 kronor a month. In Linköping another apartment brought in close to 19,000 kronor each month. 

Top 10 most expensive rental apartments in Sweden

  1. Kungsportsavenyen 37, Gothenburg. 7 room. Rent: 32,160 kronor
  2. Kungsportsavenyen 37, Gothenburg. 5 room. Rent: 26,783 kronor
  3. Vasagatan, Gothenburg. 6 room. Rent: 25,773 kronor
  4. Marietorps allé 3A, Malmö. 7 room. Rent: 25,759 kronor
  5. Husarviksgatan 18, Stockholm. 6 room. Rent: 25,549 kronor
  6. St Paulsgatan 10, Stockholm. 7 room. Rent: 25,059 kronor
  7. Götabergsgatan, Gothenburg. 6 room. Rent: 25,000 kronor
  8. Köpenhamnsvägen 95, Malmö. 6 room. Rent: 23,426 kronor
  9. Valhallavägen 96, Stockholm. 7 room. Rent: 22,645 kronor
  10. Köpenhamnsvägen 93A, Malmö. 5 room. Rent: 22,635 kronor

Source: Hem&Hyra Data: Statistics from the five largest municipalities in Sweden. Not all private landlords are connected which means that more expensive rental apartments may have been mediated outside of the list.

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How much is 'normal'?

In 2019 the average monthly rent in Sweden for a three-room apartment was 7,147 kronor ($739), according to Statistics Sweden.

But there are large variations depending on where you live.

In a municipality with fewer than 75,000 inhabitants, a family pays on average 1,600 kronor less for a three-room apartment than a household in Stockholm does.

And these statistics only take into account so called 'first-hand' contracts, which are subject to rent controls. These contracts in Sweden are in most cases given on a first-come, first-serve basis which means that you join a queue and are given priority based on your position in that queue.

In larger cities it's often impossible to find a first-hand contract without having first spent years, or even a decade or more, in the queue. In larger cities it can take many years in this queue to be eligible for a first-hand contract, so sub-letting or 'second-hand renting' is common. 

Renting in Sweden

Recent figures show a slow increase in available housing, but the shortage is still felt nationwide, and is especially problematic in the larger cities. The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) reports that 240 of Sweden's 290 municipalities has a housing shortage.

Municipal or state-regulated rental companies must abide by restrictions on how much they can charge in rent, based on aspects such as the number of rooms, quality of the apartment, location and proximity to services among others.

The Swedish Tenants Association negotiates rent for tenants who want collective bargaining, and in practice they negotiate levels of rent for 90 percent of Swedish rental apartments, which equates to over three million tenants.

A stated goal in their negotiations is that “rent should not exceed 25 percent of an average salary after taxes”. Based on the 2018 average salary of 34,600 kronor before tax each month, that would equate to a monthly rent of roughly 6690 kronor per person. 

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MONEY

How you can lower the monthly cost of your Swedish mortgage

It’s no secret that mortgages in Sweden have become more expensive over the last year or so, as interest rates have risen following high inflation. But did you know there’s a way you can lower your monthly mortgage cost?

How you can lower the monthly cost of your Swedish mortgage

Essentially, when you take out a loan in Sweden, the government gives you a discount on the interest you pay, in the form of a tax rebate.

This doesn’t include interest paid on all types of loans – for example, student loans are not included – but it does include your mortgage.

In order to qualify for the discount, referred to as ränteavdrag (interest deduction) or skatteavdrag (tax deduction), you need to fulfil some requirements: 

  • You’ve paid income tax and at least 1,000 kronor in interest in the last taxation year
  • You have a capital deficit (meaning that your interest costs must be greater than any capital income you’ve earned through interest or dividends)
  • You are either partly or wholly responsible for the loan or mortgage in question

If there are two of you who are both named on the mortgage who fulfil these requirements, you’ll each receive 50 percent of the total tax rebate.

The interest deduction is automatically subtracted from your yearly tax and listed in your yearly declaration, if you fulfil the requirements, meaning you’re likely to get it back as a lump sum when tax season rolls around in April.

How much do I get?

The actual sum you get back varies depending on how much tax and interest you’ve paid during the year, but there are some general calculations which can give you a guideline of what you might get.

You’ll get 30 percent of your interest costs back on the first 100,000 kronor you pay in interest over a year, and 21 percent on anything over 100,000 kronor. 

If there are two of you, you each have your own individual tax deduction, even if you’re paying the same loan, so as a pair you’ll get back 30 percent on the first 200,000 kronor, as well as 21 percent on anything over this figure.

To figure out how much you’ll get, you need to first find out how much interest you’ve paid during the year your declaration covers and subtract this figure from your capital income earned through interest or dividends.

If your figure is negative, that means you can subtract this figure from your tax paid during the year. Bear in mind that if you owe tax, then your interest deduction amount will be used to pay it back first, lowering the total amount you receive.

You can also change the proportion of the deduction applied to each partner if you share a mortgage, dividing it 60/40 or 70/30, for example, if you don’t share the mortgage 50/50. You can do this through your bank or by manually changing the figures in your tax declaration.

I don’t understand. How does this make my monthly mortgage payments cheaper?

Here’s where something called skattejämkning comes in. This literally translates as “tax equalisation”, and it’s a way you can spread your tax rebate for interest costs out over a year, lowering your mortgage costs each month rather than of getting a lump sum in the form of a tax rebate during tax declaration season.

In order to equalise your tax, you’ll need to contact the Tax Agency directly, filling out a form with the catchy title of SKV 4302 – Jämkning (ändring av preliminär A-skatt) or using their Jämkning online service.

To do this, you’ll need to have in-depth figures on things like your salary, pension payments, sick pay and any other income like unemployment benefit or maternity or paternity payments, as well as capital income and any business income for the tax year you’re applying for, as well as your expected income for the rest of the year.

If your application is accepted, the Tax Agency will tell your employer to subtract less tax from your payslip each month, effectively meaning that you get your tax rebate for interest costs back in your monthly pay instead of getting it paid out all at once.

Bear in mind that if you do go down this route it’s important that your calculations are correct. If you accidentally overestimate your interest payments or underestimate your tax owed, you could end up being hit with a hefty tax bill once your declaration comes through.

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