Apartment in Helsinki © by pajp
Finding a reasonable priced apartment can be very difficult in Helsinki.
The prices for apartments in the centre can be higher than those in the Manhattan New York! That’s why most people rent or buy their apartment outside Helsinki (for example in Espoo or Vantaa).
Finding a rental apartment
There are several firms renting apartments in Helsinki. The biggest ones are VVO and SATO. HOAS (The Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region) arranges apartments for students.
There are also private people renting apartments. They usually put their vacant apartments on the classifieds -services like Oikotie and Etuovi. Some have their own websites, for example Vuokraasunto.net.
What’s a decent rent?
In the Helsinki area you should expect the rent to be around 700 € / month for a single room apartment. Doubles are about 1000 € / month. In Espoo and Vantaa the prices can be approximately 100 € cheaper depending on the public transportation connections and services.
A large portion of people in the metropolitan area live in subsidized housing: the city of Helsinki alone has 43 000 subsidized apartments, and also over 20 000 price-controlled apartments. Getting these apartments is difficult for citizens, let alone for foreigners. Subsidized housing usually has rents well below the market average, and these apartments are allocated based on income level, need and waiting time.
Please note that it is usual practice for any rental contract to include a deposit for 2-3 months of rent. This is paid at the start of the rental period, and returned when the rental period ends.
Buying an apartment
The prices of apartments vary a lot depending on the location and condition of the apartment, interest rates, economical situation etc., but the price range is 100 000 € and up. For example in Kallio district you can expect to find a single room apartment for 140 000 €, and in far eastern Helsinki you could even find a double room apartment for that price.
The general price level of apartments in the Helsinki metropolitan area has risen steadily since the 1990s. There is no immediate end in sight to this, even though the current price level has made it economically unfeasible for middle- and low-income earners to buy an apartment in a central location.