Russian property purchases in Finland at near-standstill

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Russians have fled the Finnish real estate markets. (Yle)
Russians have fled the Finnish real estate markets. (Yle)
The economic crisis in Russia has affected Finland in many ways already, now in the form of new cabin purchases coming to an almost complete halt, according to real estate agents.

Russians are now more apt to sell property in Finland than buy it, they say.

The weak rouble and the long-standing recession in Russia have lead to a downturn in the number of Russians buying properties in Finland. Especially in the leisure home and summer cottage business, the flow of buyers has ebbed entirely.

“There are practically no Russians in the market for houses like these right now,” realtor Ari Punnonen from the Southern Karelia real estate firm OP-Kiinteistönvälitys says.

Statistically, Southern Karelia has the highest number of Russian-owned cottages, with up to five percent of summer cottages belonging to Russian owners in 2012. Chief of the SKV real estate firm Timo Kaisla says the drop in customers can be seen in the poor sales figures of costlier living solutions, especially in the Saimaa area.

The Huoneistokeskus real estate firm in Eastern Finland reports that the amount of Russian-speaking hopefuls asking about houses for sale has fallen.

”There are drastically fewer Russians coming around asking about properties. It’s the weak rouble’s doing,” says Yasmine Sinnemaa from the firm.

The downward trend began some years ago. The National Land Survey of Finland counted the fewest number of Russian leisure home buyers in six years in 2013. Real estaters say that Russians have, instead, turned to selling rather than buying.

“Some of the first sales have already gone through us,” Punnonen says.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Severe housing shortage in North say Inuit in Quebec, Canada, CBC News

 Finland:  Russians selling off their Finnish summer cottages says agent, Yle News

Greenland: So, I’ve Heard About This Really Nice Condo in Nuussuaq, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden:  Mining town residents in Arctic Sweden plea for relocation, Radio Sweden

Norway: The new Arctic real estate boom – Tromso, Norway, Eye on the Arctic

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