Meet the go-getters cashing in on the green transition

Joel Stenvall, an entrepreneur, has purchased and renovated 12 houses to rent to guest workers in Boden, while also constructing hotels. He is among those who recognize the potential to provide housing, and to profit from, the green transition of Norrland.

Joel Stenvall is a busy entrepreneur with multiple projects underway. This photo was taken last winter during the construction of a hotel at Western Farm. In addition, Joel has invested in twelve villas that will be rented out to guest workers.

Joel Stenvall is a busy entrepreneur with multiple projects underway. This photo was taken last winter during the construction of a hotel at Western Farm. In addition, Joel has invested in twelve villas that will be rented out to guest workers.

Foto: Lena Leffler

Engelska2023-05-09 12:51

– I've had about 50% occupancy so far, but it hasn't really taken off yet, he says.

In October, Joel Stenvall and his company Besmartfood Nordic AB bought a house on Vargvägen in Torpgärdan in Boden for 1,675,000 kronor. Other streets where the enterprising businessman has made deals in recent years include Ripgatan, Ritarvägen, Tegelbruksgatan, and Tegnérgatan.

Joel Stenvall purchased twelve properties, including this house on Vargvägen in Boden, to be rented out as accommodation for workers.

– They are scattered across the central parts of the city. Some of the houses are rented out to a subcontractor for H2 Green Steel. A couple of others are rented out to construction workers for other projects. I started buying houses over a year ago, and it may have been too early. Several of the houses have been empty for a long time. But we've taken the opportunity to renovate, and now it feels like things are starting to move, he says.

In total, he owns twelve villas, in addition to his hotel project on Western Farm, a 20 million investment that will provide 200 beds in total along with the existing cabin village.

"The houses were empty for a long time," says Joel Stenvall.

– It's important that Boden can offer enough accommodations. The hotel can also be used there. At one point, I planned to build another hotel, but I had a rethink and calmed down, smiles the entrepreneur.

On Bävervägen, just a stone's throw from Vargvägen, the Luleå company Rentcation i norr AB rents out a seven-room house for just over 49,000 kronor per month. The CEO and owner of the company is Nathalie Johansson from Luleå.

Privately and through various companies, she owns a barracks property in Boden and several other houses, including one in Skellefteå.

 Explore more: The story behind the busloads of Asian workers

Nathalie Johansson is CEO of Rentcation i norr AB.

– I've been involved in property rentals for a while. I bought houses in Boden even before H2 Green Steel presented its plans, because of its proximity to Luleå. During the time when Facebook built its third hall, accommodations for workers were also needed in Boden, says Johansson.

She believes that accommodation in Boden will be in high demand when H2 Green Steel begins construction, and that it will spill over to both Luleå and Älvsbyn.

– It's first come, first served, and it's demand that determines the rents. In this industry, you have to expect vacancies and that houses will be empty at certain times. Then interest rates rise and electricity prices increase. This obviously affects the rents, says Johansson.

Located on Grangatan in Boden, this house is owned by Robin Lindqvist and his three brothers, who rent it out as accommodation for workers.

In the Malmfälten region, the trend of companies and individuals buying up villas and larger properties for use as rental housing has negatively impacted the local housing market, making it difficult for families to find accommodation.

Johansson acknowledges this issue, but believes that the development ultimately benefits the entire region.

– The large projects make northern Sweden a more attractive place. The demand will lead to new construction and increased property values, she says.

Read more: How to find a Skellefteå apartment

Robin Lindqvist, a broker in Kalix, owns a property in Boden together with his brothers.

Robin Lindqvist, a real estate agent from Kalix, owns the company Brödrahem along with his three brothers. They purchased their father's house on Grangatan in Fagernäs, consisting of ten rooms that are rented out for a starting price of 39,900 kronor per month. 

– It used to be a daycare center that my dad converted into a house. Our intention is to rent it out to companies. The demand will only increase," says Lindqvist.

Another player is the Stockholm-based investment company Hermelin Equity, which through its subsidiary Stay Smart, has bought two properties in Boden, one in the city center and another with four apartments near the river. In a press release, the company stated that the reason for the investment is the growth boom that Boden is facing.

Villor för uthyrning

As of late April 2023, there were 13 properties listed on Blocket for renting out to companies in Boden, such as:

Torsgatan, 8 rooms: 30,000 kronor/month.

Revisorvägen, 7 rooms: 42,000 kronor/month.

Hökgatan, 10 rooms: 39,000 kronor/month.

Hökgatan, 4 rooms: 24,000 kronor/month.

Bävervägen, 7 rooms: 47,000 kronor/month.

Hökgatan, 5 rooms: 32,000 kronor/month.

Bränslanvägen, 5 rooms: 43,500 kronor/month.

Grangatan, 8 rooms: 29,900 kronor/month.