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Fast Comment SwedenHousing prices in April

  1. Housing prices increased slightly, somewhat stronger than expected
  2. The slowdown has been broad-based, despite regional differences
  3. Temporary effects are gradually fading out and prices seem to be stabilising
Housing prices increased slightly, somewhat stronger than expected
According to Valueguard’s HOX index, housing prices increased by 0.9 percent in April compared to March. Seasonally-adjusted, prices increased by 0.4 percent in monthly terms in April, following a 0.3 percent decrease in March (according to our calculations). This implies that the 12-month percentage change increased slightly, from -4.5 percent in March to -4.2 percent in April. Prices on tenant-owned flats in Gothenburg and Stockholm increased the most, as well as houses in Gothenburg (see below). All in all, prices have fallen by 5.9 percent since the peak last summer.
The slowdown has been broad-based, despite regional differences
Even though the biggest price falls have been in the Stockholm area, the slowdown in prices has been broad based. Data shows that house prices in all of Sweden’s 21 counties have slowed, especially in mid-autumn. That said, the annual percentage change has not entered negative territory in many counties.
Temporary effects are gradually fading and prices seem to be stabilising
The number of housing units up for sale on Hemnet has continued to decrease to more normal levels. The number of units sold also continued to decrease in April, after the drop in March. Thus activity has slowed, even though the level of transactions is still high and the housing market, excluding new construction units, seems to be normalising. The HOX index is not directly affected by new construction as the index is only affected once these units are up for sale on the secondary market (existing housing stock). However, adding supply to the market means downward pressure on all housing. At the moment, the supply of new construction is adding up (not captured in the Hemnet statistics), but at some point a large part of it will likely be completed, weighing on prices. All in all, we stick to our view of a stabilisation of housing prices ahead and see no signs of spillover effects to other sectors in the economy. That said, it is unlikely that we will return to the high price increases seen in previous years. Finally, we expect housing investment to decline gradually and hamper GDP growth. But strong global demand, high demand for increasing firms’ production capacity and preserved low interest rates will support the economy, and thus housing prices.

 
 


Source: Valueguard and Handelsbanken


The number of units sold decreased in April, following a drop in March. Note, though, that the number of tenant-owned flats sold is much higher than a couple of years ago.


Source: Svensk mäklarstatistik, Hemnet, Macrobond


Seasonally adjusted monthly change seems to be trending upwards


Source: Valueguard, Macrobond



Disclaimer

Helena Bornevall

Senior Economist

Scenario Analysis

hebo12@handelsbanken.se

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