How to find apartments in Stockholm
That’s the million dollar question I ask myself every day. Stockholm is one of the greatest cities in the world, tons of stuff to do and beautiful sights. But finding an apartment to settle down can be a down right pain in the ass. This is what I think about finding apartments in Stockholm.
How does it work?
Well, first of all, the government “hands out” the apartment based on your time in the apartment queue, which you can sign up for the day you turn 18. The price is 210 SEK per year. There are many private apartment building owners, but most of them give their vacant apartments to Stockholm Stads Bostadskö (Stocholm City apartment queue) to “hand out”.
Somehow they though this would be a better idea and give everyone a chance to get an apartment….. think again. At the time writing this, there are 92, yes 92 vacant apartments in all of Stockholm on their website. You know how many people there are in line to get one? 500.000+, yes, thats true. There are over five hundred thousand people standing in line to get an apartment in Stockholm. And you know what else, the queue time is what give you a chance to get an apartment. I have been in line for 4 years, which puts me at a no chance in hell place in line, even out in the suburbs and “bad neighborhoods”.
So, if you are planning on moving to Stockholm, and want to have your own rental apartment, be prepared to stand 10+ years in line to get one. IF you are not very very very lucky to get one through the private apartment building owners, but that’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
The other option is to sublet…. oh the joy. Most of the sublet contract are on short term, 6 months to a year, or even shorter, and most of them are overpriced as hell. Paying up as much as 2-3 times over the real rent. And the closer to the city you come, the more expensive.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but here’s my story about finding apartments in Stockholm:
I’m 33 years old, born and raised in the northern parts of Sweden. I moved to Stockholm 4 years ago and was lucky to sublet a small 20 m2 apartment through a work colleague, after a year I got a 40 m2 apartment through another friend, but had to move out after a year. I am currently living with my girlfriend in yet another sublet apartment, 49 m2, and have been doing that for the last 2 years, but now we have to move out by May 1st. Why? Well, there are also this rule that if you have bought your apartment, you can sublet it to someone, but not for more then 2 years….
That means there are tons and tons of empty condos all over Stockholm, due to the fact that the people who could afford to buy their own apartment can’t sublet it for more then 2 years. Most people keep a spare apartment for emergencies like family issues and what not, because they know, that if they sell if our cancel their contract, they wont get a new one for many years to come.
The apartment situation in Stockholm is so incredibly bad, and to get a first hand rental contract, it’s nearly impossible. And buying a condo? Well, a 1 room apartment cost upwards of 2-3 million SEK, which “normal” people like me cant afford. So if you are planning on moving here, be sure to fix your living situation beforehand.