Accommodation in Helsinki

Buy house or flat in Helsinki

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In contrast to other European cities, home ownership is more common in Helsinki than is rented housing.  The most expensive housing is found in the city centre and along the waterfronts. Slightly over half of all owner-occupied housing are detached houses. Most of these are in private ownership, but some are owned by a housing company.  Just under half of all owner-occupied housing is owned and managed by condominium companies.

The right to reside in a particular house or flat owned and managed by a condominium company is tied to the ownership of shares in the condominium company. In Finnish legal terms, the transfer of a home owned by a condominium company is seen as the sale of shares in the condominium company, rather than a real estate transaction. Residents pay a monthly fee to cover maintenance costs, heating costs and the water supply. Condominium companies' policies are defined by residents at open meetings. The construction of such housing is usually financed on the open market.

The opportunity for part-ownership brings home ownership within the reach of many more people. Residents of State-subsidized part-ownership housing first purchase a 15% share in their accommodation, and then have right of residency under a fixed-period tenancy, during which they pay rent to the majority owner. At the end of this tenancy, residents may buy the whole flat or house.  Eligibility for part-ownership of housing produced through interest subsidy schemes is based on social and financial factors. After residents have completely paid for the purchase of such housing, controls over factors such as residence eligibility and sale price no longer apply. Conditions for market-financed part-ownership schemes run by housing companies differ from those applied to State-subsidized housing.  Just over 1% of Finnish household lives in right-of-occupancy housing.

The seller is responsible for disclosing to the buyer all information that may influence the buyer's purchase decision. The seller must specifically disclose the following information:

  • information pertaining to the dwelling, services in the vicinity of the apartment and other information pertaining to the surrounding area that may influence the transaction
  • any defects and deficiencies in the dwelling that the seller is aware of
  • information on renovation work, projects and plans for assessing and/or improving the condition of the building(s) of the housing company
  • zoning information the seller is aware of

Shares in housing companies may be sold directly by the owner or through a real estate agent. The real estate agent's commission is paid by the client. Real estate agents only receive a commission when a sales transaction is concluded.

There are restrictions on selling right of occupancy. A holder may relinquish right of occupancy by notifying the owner. Holders may also agree on switching right-of-occupancy apartments. Right of occupancy may be sold through the owner to a buyer that is approved by the local authorities. If no suitable buyers are found, the owner is liable to reclaim the apartment three months from receiving notice from the holder. Upon relinquishing the right of occupancy, the holder receives a refund of the right-of-occupancy payment adjusted according to changes in the building cost index.Part-owners who wish to sell a part-ownership apartment that has not been bought outright are subject to the terms of the part-ownership agreement they have signed.

State-subsidized and market-financed housing schemes each have their own rules, which part-owners should carefully read and understand. Selling part-ownership apartments that have been bought outright is subject to the same rules as selling any apartment on the market. Single-family houses may be sold directly by the owner or through an agent.

Property Search Sites & Services
Most sites in Finnish only. See common search terms translated above

Helsingin Sanomat:

Finland 's largest newspaper's Helsinki housing search 

Finland-wide property search; private and agents' listings


Relocation, real estate and housing services. (Property request form in English )


Private agency offering housing for rent/sale. Online search available (Property request form in English)


Private agency offering housing for rent/sale.


Private agency offering housing for rent/sale


Part of Osuuspankki - offering housing for rent/sale


Private agency offering housing for rent/sale.


Offering housing for rent/sale.


Private agency offering housing for rent/sale..

YH – Rakennuttaja:

Private agency offering housing for rent/sale.

Student Unions' Housing Service:

Apartments for students of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology or Helsinki School of Economics

Update 20/05/2008


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