Property guide, saving money and Swedish in-laws: Essential articles for life in Sweden

From our ultimate guide to property, keeping your Swedish in-laws happy and saving money on shopping, here are six must-reads from The Local about life in Sweden.

Property guide, saving money and Swedish in-laws: Essential articles for life in Sweden
Detached houses (villor) in Enskede, Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Meeting your in-laws for the first time is nerve-wracking in any country, but just so you’re not taken by surprise: here’s an informal set of rules and habits you may encounter if they’re Swedish.

Buying a house in Sweden? Not sure how to read a ‘planritning’ or what a ‘budgivning’ is? Here’s The Local’s guide to all the essential vocab you need.

With interest rates increasing and the cost of living getting more expensive, you may be wondering how you can save money on what is most likely your largest household expense: your mortgage.

Here are The Local’s tips:

At The Local, we’ve spent years writing articles on almost every aspect of buying, renting, and selling property in Sweden, from apartments to villas to summer houses.

Here’s our ultimate guide.

What authorities do you need to inform before you leave, are you liable to Swedish tax and how can you access your Swedish pension? Here’s a checklist.

The cost of living is rising in Sweden and inflation is still going up – but some purchases can’t wait. Here are our top tips for saving money on shopping in Sweden.

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Foreign buyers snap up cheaper Swedish holiday homes

Sweden’s weak krona is creating a property boom for estate agents selling houses to foreign buyers who wish to settle down in the Swedish countryside.

Foreign buyers snap up cheaper Swedish holiday homes

The best deals are to be found in Kronoberg county in the Småland region of southern Sweden, where estate agent Christer Stjernfeldt is active.

“It’s practically a sale for our Danish and German, Dutch and Swiss customers. They’re seizing the opportunity too, so we’re really busy,” Stjernfeldt said.

Some three decades ago, when the krona was also low, these customers used to buy summer houses, but are today looking more for a second home where they can spend much of the year. The trend of working from home during the pandemic has made remote working easier. 

“It’s led to more pleasant country towns,” Stjernfeldt said. “There are more lit windows than there were 30 years ago.”

Foreign buyers also benefit from the fact that the cost of buying a holiday home has gone down in Sweden, with the average price falling two percent in one year and the number of homes changing hands falling by almost a third.

In Kronoberg in particular, prices have gone down even more, estate agent Jonas Hellström said. According to insurance company Länsförsäkringar, a million kronor will buy you 67 square metres’ worth of holiday home in Kronoberg, compared with 18 square metres in Stockholm and 28 square metres in Sweden in general.

“There are a lot of single-family homes which become holiday homes, as there’s not a huge difference in price,” Hellström said. 

“You get a lot for your money if you buy a single-family home in a town.”

Hellström described German buyers in particular, who he reaches via property site Immoscout24, as less cautious than Swedes.

“They don’t hesitate, they buy,” he said, “Swedes are more cautious.”

He added that German buyers aren’t as affected by high interest rates as Swedes, and that Småland has a number of other qualities popular among Germans, such as forests, lakes and a quieter atmosphere.

“Swedes want to get out to the coast, but those who are used to crowds in Europe prefer the peace and quiet,” he said.