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


This four-bedroom home is a transformed, 108-foot water tower on Vaxon, an island within the Stockholm Archipelago, about 35 minutes east of central Stockholm, Sweden’s capital. The brick tower was inbuilt 1923 on one of many highest factors within the space to produce ingesting water, and was getting used as a reserve as late as 1989, stated Jan Tivenius, an agent with Residence-Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property, which has the itemizing.

The present house owners purchased it in 2000 and transformed it right into a seven-story residence 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 present lease antennae area 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 principal entrance, which opens into the mixed kitchen, residing 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 offers entry to a wooden deck.

The bottom of the tower has two concentric partitions — an inside circle with an outer hall round it — a configuration that was possible supposed to offer added assist for the water tank above, Mr. Tivenius stated. The hall offers area for a pantry, a toilet and an workplace nook, in addition to the wooden staircase to the flooring above.

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

The first suite and one other lavatory 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 house owners have variously used as a music room, tv room and visitor room. The fifth and sixth flooring was the water tank; a flooring now separates the 2. The fifth flooring is used for storage, and the sixth flooring has a toilet 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 outlets 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, a large island fortress first constructed within the sixteenth century to defend Stockholm.

After a stoop in 2017 and 2018, Sweden’s housing costs are hovering as soon as once more. Costs have been up 7.5 p.c final 12 months over 2019, with a record-high variety of transactions, in line with a report from Nordea, a big Nordic financial institution. The federal government company Statistics Sweden reported an total worth improve of 6 p.c for one- and two-dwelling buildings, and 10 p.c worth development for trip properties.

That development has been pushed virtually completely by demand for homes, versus condos and different residences, stated Susanne Spector, an economist and the chief analyst for Nordea. As in lots of different markets across the globe, the pandemic has shifted patrons’ priorities towards properties with backyard area and room to work remotely, she stated.

The provision of properties is restricted, as “the traditional rotation of older folks shifting from their homes to metropolis facilities has been damaged, since folks have to remain residence,” she stated.

In contrast to most different European nations, Sweden has relied closely on voluntary measures to gradual the unfold of the coronavirus, fairly than impose strict lockdown measures. As of April 2, the country had reported 813,191 Covid-19 instances and 13,498 deaths. Its excess mortality rate in 2020 was significantly decrease than in most European nations, however increased than in its Nordic neighbors.

Nonetheless, shopper confidence has continued to develop, additional fueling worth development. Many households really feel properly positioned to purchase, Ms. Spector stated: “Family wealth elevated throughout 2020 — it was an excellent 12 months for households total. Most individuals have stored their jobs, rates of interest are low, and the inventory market has boomed.”

Competitors for homes is so fierce that, throughout the first month of 2021, bidding wars drove up promoting costs to a mean of 8 p.c above asking, in line with Erik Holmberg, a market analyst for Hemnet, a Swedish itemizing website. In February, the typical time on marketplace for homes hit an all-time low of 18 days, he stated.

Camilla Eggenberger, an agent overseeing Swedish gross sales for Unbelievable Frank, stated that in her 33 years out there, she’s by no means seen this massive a divide between the demand for homes versus residences. Everybody desires a bit of land, she stated.

“The Swedish individuals are identified for being very involved about how they stay,” she stated. “We spend a considerable amount of our earnings on our properties. Now greater than ever individuals are cocooning, and I believe they’re spending much more cash on their properties.”

In higher Stockholm, with about 2.4 million residents within the metropolitan space, the marketplace for homes is extraordinarily brisk. “It’s loopy, actually,” Mr. Tivenius stated. “Costs have risen 15 to twenty p.c in a 12 months.”

Within the suburban areas instantly across the metropolis, homes sometimes common 10 to fifteen million Swedish krona ($1.14 million to $1.72 million), relying on the realm, he stated. Something cheaper than that will require appreciable renovation. Extra unique properties are priced between 15 and 20 million krona ($1.72 million to $2.29 million), with seafront properties sometimes nearer to 35 million ($4 million), he stated.

Residences in central Stockholm common round 100,000 krona a sq. meter, or $1,060 a sq. foot, he stated.

Overseas patrons make up a small share of house owners in Sweden. In 2020, Statistics Sweden reported that 37,979 trip properties have been foreign-owned — about 6 p.c of the whole. Norwegians accounted for a few third of these house owners, intently adopted by Germans and Danes, at 27 p.c every. One other 2.2 p.c are owned by Swedes residing overseas.

In Stockholm, fewer than 1 p.c of trip properties are international owned.

Ms. Eggenberger stated her nonresident patrons are sometimes diplomats or Swedish residents who’re returning to the nation after working elsewhere for a few years “with some huge cash to spend.”

There are not any restrictions on international patrons in Sweden. It’s often not needed to rent a lawyer — the vendor’s agent sometimes handles every thing within the transaction, Mr. Tivenius stated.

In higher Stockholm, the agent’s fee can range, however on homes it often averages round 1.5 to 2 p.c, he stated.

Swedish; Swedish krona; 1 krona = $0.11

Consumers pay a stamp obligation of 1.5 p.c of the acquisition worth. It applies solely to homes, to not residences, Ms. Eggenberger stated.

The annual property taxes on this home are about 8,500 krona ($970).

Jan Tivenius, Residence-Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property, 011-46-70-617-96-06; christiesrealestate.com

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