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Cost, not availability, is source of housing difficulties in Danish cities

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Cost, not availability, is source of housing difficulties in Danish cities
File photo: Anne Bæk / Ritzau Scanpix
10:37 CEST+02:00
Cities such as Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg, which have large numbers of students, are known for having a shortage of housing. But the cost, rather than availability, of apartments for rent is the cause of housing headaches for many.

The number of apartments or houses for rent in Denmark has undergone a dramatic increase over the last eight years, newspaper Politiken reports.

That is due to significant growth in construction of rental housing, an analyst said.

“A large part of this trend is due to a high amount of construction during recent years. At the same time, it has become more difficult to sell apartments in the bigger cities. They are privately owned, but they are instead rented out to tenants,” Mira Lie Nielsen, an economist and analyst with Nykredit, told Ritzau.

“The way things are looking currently, the rental housing market in cities is slowing down. It is more difficult to sell homes, and new builds are also harder to sell. That is likely to continue in coming years,” Nielsen added.

Statistics Denmark figures show a total national increase in rental housing from 978,000 in 2010 to 1.2 million last year, while home ownership has remained stable at around 1.3 million homes.

In Copenhagen, the number of rented homes has increased from 130,000 to 146,000 over the last eight years.

But the affordability of rented housing is a serious obstacle for those looking for a place to live, with many apartments costing monthly rents of between 14,000-22,000 kroner for family-sized homes.

That has resulted in an increase in, for example, students sharing rented accommodation to enable them to share the economic burden of living in rental property.

“We have seen a record number of homes being put on the rental market in the last three to four years,” Anders Hyldborg, CEO with BoligPortal, Denmark's largest advertising platform for rented homes, told Ritzau.

“I think this trend will continue. From an economic point of view, many people can't afford to live in these expensive apartments, so they have to share the costs,” Hyldborg added.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about renting an apartment in Denmark

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