House Hunting in Sweden: A Sauna-Topped Water Tower Near Stockholm

This four-bedroom house is a transformed, 108-foot water tower on Vaxon, an island in the Stockholm Archipelago, about 35 minutes east of central Stockholm, Sweden’s capital. The brick tower was constructed in 1923 on one of many highest factors in the realm to produce consuming water, and was getting used as a reserve as late as 1989, stated Jan Tivenius, an agent with Residence-Christie’s International Real Estate, which has the itemizing.

The present homeowners purchased it in 2000 and transformed it right into a seven-story dwelling with an electrical sauna on the lantern-like prime. The property, on a few third of an acre inside a hilly park with pine bushes, has appreciable income-generating potential, Mr. Tivenius stated: Telecom corporations at the moment lease antennae house on the tower’s rooftop, and a small residence over a two-car storage in a separate A-frame wooden cabin can be rented out.

An unpaved driveway wends up the hill to the tower’s important entrance, which opens into the mixed kitchen, dwelling and eating space, with 16-foot ceilings and herringbone oak flooring. The round brick partitions are lined with giant arched home windows. A second entrance on the again supplies entry to a wooden deck.

The base of the tower has two concentric partitions — an interior circle with an outer hall round it — a configuration that was probably meant to offer added help for the water tank above, Mr. Tivenius stated. The hall supplies house for a pantry, a rest room and an workplace nook, in addition to the wooden staircase to the flooring above.

The second flooring has three bedrooms, a rest room and a storage room. Porthole-style home windows present gentle.

The main suite and one other rest room take up the third flooring, the place the tile flooring has a glass cutout to see beneath.

The fourth flooring is an open space that the homeowners have variously used as a music room, tv room and visitor room. The fifth and sixth flooring was once the water tank; a flooring now separates the 2. The fifth flooring is used for storage, and the sixth flooring has a rest room and a pc room to accommodate the telecom tools.

The property sits subsequent door to a preschool on the east aspect of Vaxon, which stretches about two miles from finish to finish and affords an energetic harbor, in addition to quite a few retailers and eating places. The island is a part of Vaxholm municipality, a Baltic Sea archipelago comprising 70 islands and about 5,000 residents. A collection of bridges connects the islands to central Stockholm; the bus from Vaxon takes about an hour. Ferries additionally take vacationers to Vaxholms Kastell, an enormous island fortress first constructed in the 16th century to defend Stockholm.

After a stoop in 2017 and 2018, Sweden’s housing costs are hovering as soon as once more. Prices had been up 7.5 % final yr over 2019, with a record-high variety of transactions, based on a report from Nordea, a large Nordic bank. The government agency Statistics Sweden reported an overall price increase of 6 percent for one- and two-dwelling buildings, and 10 percent price growth for vacation homes.

That growth has been driven almost exclusively by demand for houses, as opposed to condos and other apartments, said Susanne Spector, an economist and the chief analyst for Nordea. As in many other markets around the globe, the pandemic has shifted buyers’ priorities toward properties with garden space and room to work remotely, she said.

The supply of homes is limited, as “the normal rotation of older people moving from their houses to city centers has been broken, since people have to stay home,” she said.

Unlike most other European countries, Sweden has relied heavily on voluntary measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rather than impose strict lockdown measures. As of April 2, the country had reported 813,191 Covid-19 cases and 13,498 deaths. Its excess mortality rate in 2020 was considerably lower than in most European countries, but higher than in its Nordic neighbors.

Nevertheless, consumer confidence has continued to grow, further fueling price growth. Many households feel well positioned to buy, Ms. Spector said: “Household wealth increased during 2020 — it was a very good year for households overall. Most people have kept their jobs, interest rates are low, and the stock market has boomed.”

Competition for houses is so fierce that, during the first month of 2021, bidding wars drove up selling prices to an average of 8 percent above asking, according to Erik Holmberg, a market analyst for Hemnet, a Swedish listing site. In February, the average time on market for houses hit an all-time low of 18 days, he said.

Camilla Eggenberger, an agent overseeing Swedish sales for Fantastic Frank, said that in her 33 years in the market, she’s never seen this large a divide between the demand for houses versus apartments. Everyone wants a piece of land, she said.

“The Swedish people are known for being very concerned about how they live,” she said. “We spend a large amount of our income on our homes. Now more than ever people are cocooning, and I think they’re spending even more money on their homes.”

In greater Stockholm, with about 2.4 million residents in the metropolitan area, the market for houses is extremely brisk. “It’s crazy, really,” Mr. Tivenius said. “Prices have risen 15 to 20 percent in a year.”

In the suburban areas immediately around the city, houses typically average 10 to 15 million Swedish krona ($1.14 million to $1.72 million), depending on the area, he said. Anything cheaper than that would require considerable renovation. More exclusive properties are priced between 15 and 20 million krona ($1.72 million to $2.29 million), with seafront properties typically closer to 35 million ($4 million), he said.

Apartments in central Stockholm average around 100,000 krona a square meter, or $1,060 a square foot, he said.

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