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

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.

Cost, not availability, is source of housing difficulties in Danish cities
File photo: Anne Bæk / Ritzau Scanpix

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

Member comments

  1. What is the government doing about this? I tell you what, turn a blind eye and pretending everything is amazing

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Copenhagen nature area to be developed as city approves land sale

A part of the Amager Fælled nature area has lost its reserve status and can now be sold to investors, after a majority in the city's municipal council voted in favour of development on Thursday.

Copenhagen nature area to be developed as city approves land sale
Amager Fælled. File photo: Asger Ladefoged/Ritzau Scanpix

The 219,000 square-kilometre area, known as Lærkesletten, can be sold to developers who wish to build homes on the land, broadcaster TV2 reported.

The sale raises money needed by the city to pay for the new Metro lines, which opened last year, and was part of a political deal agreed in 2017.

City councillors from the Social Democrats, Social Liberals, Liberals, Conservatives, Danish People's Party and two independents voted in favour, while Red-Green Alliance, Alternative and Independent Green parties and one independent opposed.

Located on the southern edge of the natural area on island Amager, the area is frequently used by people from the city for cycling, running and walking.

“We have seen that nature and the environment are at the centre of the public’s perception of what’s important. They want real wild nature in Denmark,” Gorm Anker Gunnarsen, who represents the Red-Green Alliance on the city council, told news agency Ritzau.

An Epinion survey this week showed that 76 percent of people who live in Copenhagen are either partly or completely against development of the area.

Gunnarsen told Ritzau he still believes there is a chance of preserving the nature zone.

“We have the authority to withdraw a building permit in special circumstances,” he said.

An advisory public vote could on the matter provide the basis for this, he argued.

“This case will not then just rest on which party you are with, but also on your view of the individual case,” he said.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen natural area Amager Fælled gets new development plan