Build houses, not apartments, says new study

Nya flerbostadshus i Sörböle i Skellefteå planeras.
Nya flerbostadshus i Sörböle i Skellefteå planeras.

Skellefteå and Boden are investing in the wrong type of housing, failing to attract residents, and losing nearly a billion in tax revenue. The Swedish Association of Real Estate Agents raises the alarm in a new report.

English 17 april 2023 11:55

The Association has examined whether Skellefteå, Luleå, and Boden can provide housing to accommodate the influx of residents required for successful industrial establishments worth over 1,000 billion kronor. Each municipality has been mapped based on calculations for the number of jobs, immigration, and timeframes for establishment.

Grafiken visar förlusten i skatteintäkter för Skellefteå och Boden under etableringstiden, om inflyttningen går i den takt som Mäklarsamfundet förutspår.

Luleå is expected to handle the population increase at the required pace. However, both Skellefteå and Boden are focusing too heavily on multi-family dwellings, which "do not appeal to cramped city dwellers." "The dream of Norrland involves houses, not apartments," writes André Nilsson, a housing policy expert at the Swedish Association of Real Estate Agents, in an opinion piece in DN.

Additional plans for single-family houses need to be established, and mobility in the housing market must be improved to prevent industrial projects from being delayed by 4-5 years. The municipalities risk losing tax revenues of 765 million kronor and 805 million kronor, respectively, during the establishment period, according to the Swedish Association of Real Estate Agents (Mäklarsamfund).

Småhus ingår i drömmen om Norrland, anser Mäklarsamfundet.

– One should be aware that this is, to a large extent, a biased submission, similar to when the concrete industry implies that we are slowing down construction by promoting ideas about increased building in wood, says Lars Hedqvist, planning director at Skellefteå municipality.

He believes that Skellefteå's challenge of transitioning from a long period of low construction and low housing prices to accommodating an intense influx of residents requires extensive new production and, consequently, large-scale construction.

–cRental properties are naturally in demand, and multi-family houses with rental units are what we have focused on the most."

Lars Hedqvist, planeringschef i Skellefteå.
Nya flerbostadshus i Sörböle i Skellefteå planeras.

Hedqvist points out that Skellefteå already has a high proportion of small houses.

–54 percent of the dwellings are small houses. We also have over 7,000 holiday homes and many uninhabited houses in rural areas that, through demand and increasing values, are gradually being converted into residential houses. There are also 300 small house plots for sale today. So, there are building rights available."

However, Hedqvist believes that the turbulent times are a factor.

– War, inflation, rising interest rates, and increasing construction costs. All of this has noticeably slowed down the pace of small house construction."

Lindbäcks bygger hus på Baldertomten åt Skebo.

Nevertheless, Hedqvist believes that an increased turnover of small houses will occur as the number of apartments grows. Adult children may move out of their family homes earlier, and older people, who will now receive higher prices, may increasingly sell and move to apartments.

– Skellefteå understands that small house living is an attraction factor. We will continue to offer new areas for small houses.

We have attempted to contact Lars Andersson, the planning and development director in Boden, for comment.

80 bostäder, bensinstation och laddstationer för elbilar planeras efter Garnisonsgatan i Boden.