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Foreign ownership and expatriate Swedes’ ownership of holiday homes in Sweden 2019

Norwegian ownership continues to increase

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2020-03-25 9.30

In Sweden, there were 37 740 holiday homes with foreign owners in 2019, which is a marginal increase compared with 2018. Swedes living abroad owned 13 249 holiday homes in Sweden. In 2019, 6.2 percent of holiday homes in Sweden were foreign-owned, while expatriate Swedes owned 2.2 percent of holiday homes in the country.

New method for measuring number of holiday homes

Statistics Sweden has changed its method of obtaining the number of holiday homes in the country. This change of method affects the total number of holiday homes as well as the number of foreign-owned holiday homes and the number of holiday homes owned by expatriate Swedes. For more information, see "Definitions and explanations".

Foreign ownership of holiday homes

Large differences among counties

Regional variation in foreign ownership of holiday homes in relation to the total stock of holiday homes is considerable. The percentage of foreign ownership is by far the greatest in Kronoberg County at 38 percent and in Värmland at 24 percent. In 12 counties, foreign ownership is less than 5 percent, and in the counties of Stockholm, Uppsala, Södermanland, Gotland and Västmanland, foreign ownership is less than 1 percent of the stock.

The largest numbers of foreign-owned holiday homes are located in the counties of Västra Götaland (7 702), Värmland (6 422), Kronoberg (4 571) and Skåne (3 511).

Foreign owners mostly from Norway, Denmark and Germany

Foreign owners come primarily from Norway (12 416 holiday homes), Denmark (10 386) and Germany (10 140). In total, 87 percent of foreign-owned holiday homes have owners from these three countries. The fourth leading ownership country is the Netherlands, with 1 342 holiday homes.

Norwegian ownership continuous to increase

Among the countries that account for the largest shares of ownership of holiday homes in Sweden, only Norwegian and German ownership increased in 2019. Last year, Norwegians increased their ownership by 177 holiday homes and Germans increased their ownership by 15 holiday homes. By contrast, Danish ownership decreased by 198 holiday homes in 2019. This was the seventh consecutive year that Danes decreased their ownership of Swedish holiday homes. The number of owners from the Netherlands decreased slightly, which meant that their ownership has decreased for six consecutive years. The group ‘other countries’ increased slightly. In the group ‘other countries’, owners from Switzerland increased their ownership the most, by 25 holiday homes.

Germans bought first – Norwegians are buying now

There are differences in the development of foreign-owned holiday homes for the three dominant countries Norway, Denmark and Germany since 2000.

Since 2000, Norwegians have increased their ownership by just under 9 800 holiday homes (384 percent) and Danes by just over 5 800 holiday homes (132 percent). German ownership has only increased by about 1 000 holiday homes (11 percent); this is because owners from Germany were the first to start buying holiday homes in Sweden and already had a large holding in 2000.

Most foreign owners in Strömstad

Strömstad, Tanum, Åre, Torsby, Ljungby and Årjäng are the six municipalities with most foreign-owned holiday homes. In each of these municipalities, more than 1 000 holiday homes are foreign-owned, with Strömstad at the top, 1 602 holiday homes.

In 19 municipalities, at least one third of the holiday homes have foreign owners. The largest share of foreign ownership of a municipality’s total holiday home stock is in Markaryd, where 57 percent of the total holiday home stock is foreign-owned, followed by Tingsryd, Älmhult, Eda, Munkfors and Uppvidinge with 45–47 percent each.

Number of holiday homes owned by natural persons in 2019 and of which the foreign owners by country
County Total number of holiday homes owned by natural persons Of which those with owners from   Percentage of foreign owned holiday homes
    Denmark Norway Germany Netherlands Other countries Unknown country Total  
Stockholm 72 949 14 15 64 5 107 17 222 0.3
Uppsala 18 112 1 4 12 4 28 8 57 0.3
Södermanland 20 192 4 4 48 5 35 13 109 0.5
Östergötland 23 088 70 9 218 31 52 22 402 1.7
Jönköping 13 807 911 10 776 68 87 30 1 882 13.6
Kronoberg 11 978 2 999 14 1 300 87 120 51 4 571 38.2
Kalmar 31 446 563 36 2 003 116 138 81 2 937 9.3
Gotland 12 137 0 14 39 4 24 6 87 0.7
Blekinge 13 296 911 12 460 22 60 24 1 489 11.2
Skåne 44 629 2 516 90 593 40 197 75 3 511 7.9
Halland 25 155 1 165 37 466 17 62 27 1 774 7.1
Västra Götaland 77 620 535 5 030 1 562 130 286 159 7 702 9.9
Värmland 27 246 411 3 976 1 191 522 202 120 6 422 23.6
Örebro 14 854 37 25 226 54 44 16 402 2.7
Västmanland 9 725 1 5 10 3 17 5 41 0.4
Dalarna 44 764 133 374 350 84 134 27 1 102 2.5
Gävleborg 27 640 8 23 118 26 83 32 290 1.0
Västernorrland 25 023 13 55 176 32 138 39 453 1.8
Jämtland 31 577 44 1 448 223 51 115 28 1 909 6.0
Västerbotten 32 471 39 779 195 24 242 42 1 321 4.1
Norrbotten 29 211 11 456 110 17 420 43 1 057 3.6
Total 606 920 10 386 12 416 10 140 1 342 2 591 865 37 740 6.2

Further information on foreign ownership and presentation at municipal level can be provided on order.

Expatriate Swedes’ ownership of holiday homes

Portugal and the United States are increasing

In total, 13 249 holiday homes in Sweden are owned by Swedes living abroad. Swedes living in Norway own the largest number of holiday homes in Sweden (2 833). This is followed by Swedes living in Germany (1 604), the United Kingdom (1 261), Switzerland (1 113) and Denmark (1 001).

The largest increases relate to Swedes living in Portugal and the United States. In 2019, the increase for Swedish owners living in Portugal was 102 holiday homes, which represents an increase of 17 percent. Holiday homes owned by Swedes living in the United States also increased in 2019 compared to 2018. The increase was 101 holiday homes, corresponding to 12 percent.

Expatriate Swedes own most holiday homes in Västra Götaland, Skåne and Stockholm

It is most common for expatriate Swedes to own holiday homes in the counties of Västra Götaland (2,553), Skåne (1,939) and Stockholm (1,661).

There are 29 municipalities in which expatriate Swedes own more than 100 holiday homes. The municipalities with the largest numbers of these holiday homes are Värmdö (460), Norrtälje (394) Tanum (383) and Båstad (327).

Number of holiday homes owned by natural persons in 2019 and of which expatriate Swedes by country
County Total number of holiday homes owned by natural persons Of which those with Swedish owners living in   Percentage of holiday homes owned by expatriate Swedes
    Norway Switzerland United Kingdom Germany Denmark Other countries Unknown country Total  
Stockholm 72 949 81 203 218 167 31 961 0 1 661 2.3
Uppsala 18 112 13 11 26 11 7 132 1 201 1.1
Södermanland 20 192 17 22 47 66 6 176 1 335 1.7
Östergötland 23 088 46 40 40 50 17 181 0 374 1.6
Jönköping 13 807 19 21 22 64 55 107 0 288 2.1
Kronoberg 11 978 15 12 16 71 150 72 0 336 2.8
Kalmar 31 446 64 53 49 131 61 243 4 605 1.9
Gotland 12 137 30 16 22 24 4 102 0 198 1.6
Blekinge 13 296 26 30 21 45 72 109 0 303 2.3
Skåne 44 629 119 240 252 275 299 749 5 1 939 4.3
Halland 25 155 76 65 47 93 80 277 1 639 2.5
Västra Götaland 77 620 985 189 217 241 79 839 3 2 553 3.3
Värmland 27 246 616 42 30 74 35 181 1 979 3.6
Örebro 14 854 35 10 23 45 13 93 0 219 1.5
Västmanland 9 725 19 11 21 14 2 99 1 167 1.7
Dalarna 44 764 174 57 72 59 29 253 2 646 1.4
Gävleborg 27 640 61 29 43 36 10 163 1 343 1.2
Västernorrland 25 023 47 16 30 46 12 167 2 320 1.3
Jämtland 31 577 179 23 28 24 14 154 0 422 1.3
Västerbotten 32 471 121 16 19 38 17 145 1 357 1.1
Norrbotten 29 211 90 7 18 30 8 210 1 364 1.2
Total 606 920 2 833 1 113 1 261 1 604 1 001 5 413 24 13 249 2.2

Further information on foreign ownership and presentation at municipal level can be provided on order.

Definitions and explanations

This statistical news defines holiday home as an assessment unit or taxation unit with no registered population that is assessed as building for agriculture, residential value less than SEK 50 000 (type code 113); building for agriculture, built (type code 120); one- or two-dwelling building, built (type code 220); one- or two-dwelling building, building on non-freehold property (type code 225); and one- or two-dwelling building, building value less than SEK 50 000 (type code 213).

News from 2019 publication of holiday homes

A type code has been added. It is building for agriculture, residential value less than SEK 50 000 (type code 113).

All assessment units, one- or two-dwelling building, building on non-freehold property (type code 225) are now considered holiday homes.

For agricultural units there is a further requirement that the agriculture is not active. As of 2019, only those units with agriculture-related business codes are counted as active agriculture, which means that fewer agricultural units are excluded.

The changes that have been made result in just over 24,000 more holiday homes for 2019 compared with the method previously used.

Statistics Sweden will publish new time series according to the new definition later this spring when comparisons can be made for longer time periods.

Foreign ownership means that the owner responsible for reporting the holiday home in their tax return has neither a Swedish postal address nor a Swedish personal identity number. The country reported in these statistics is based on the country where the owner has their postal address, and only natural persons are included in the survey.

Expatriate Swedes’ ownership means that the owner responsible for reporting the holiday home in their tax return does not have a Swedish postal address, but does have a Swedish personal identity number. The country reported in these statistics is based on the country where the owner has their postal address, and only natural persons are included in the survey.

The information was retrieved from the 2019 Real Estate Tax Assessment Register (FTR) and refers to the situation on 1 January 2019. Statistics Sweden receives the Real Estate Tax Assessment Register from the Swedish Tax Agency.

The objects reported are assessment units or taxation units. Assessment units and taxation units are defined in FTR as that which is assessed or taxed independently and generally consists of property with a building and a lot.

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

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