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Fast Comment SwedenPreview: Housing prices for January (Wednesday)

  1. Bear in mind the seasonal variation
  2. Housing prices seem to have continued to fall in January (S.A.)
  3. Similarities with buying and selling behaviour in 2013-14
Bear in mind the seasonal variation
January is normally a relatively strong month for housing prices. Since 2005, housing prices have on average increased by 3.6 percent between December and January, according to the HOX quality-adjusted index (see chart below). But there have been variations; the span ranges from 1.7 percent to 5.6 percent in this period. It is well known that housing prices in Sweden were weaker than usual between September and December 2017.
Housing prices seem to have continued to decrease in January (S.A.)
We expect the price decline to continue in January, adjusted for seasonal effects. Hence, we believe the annual percentage change continued to decrease (from -2.5 percent in December), although we expect the seasonally-adjusted monthly decline to be smaller than the previous month (-1.1).
Similarities with buying and selling behaviour in 2013-14
Sales activity is still high, according to Svensk Mäklarstatistik. This is supported by statistics from Booli showing a normal (or even higher) number of removed home adverts than last year. Yet the number of transactions relative to the number of housing units for sale has weakened. Looking at a longer time horizon, that figure, as well as the total number of housing units for sale, is not extreme - in fact, it is at parity with 2013-14 - but now there is a higher share of new construction. There has been extra pressure on the housing market over the past few years. The average bid premium also fell during the autumn and is now around 7 percent in Sweden, about the same as in mid-2014, according to Booli Pro. Thus, final prices fell by more than asking prices. The number of housing units for sale continued to increase in January and there are signs that prices for newly-produced apartments in Stockholm may need to be reduced to generate demand. That said, we still do not expect major drama in the housing market ahead.


Sources: Handelsbanken, Valueguard, Macrobond


Sources: Handelsbanken, Svensk Mäklarstatistik, Hemnet, Macrobond

Sources: Handelsbanken, Valueguard


Helena Bornevall

Senior Economist

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