Annual report 2013
The rental housing market developed along the same lines as in the previous year, marked by a growing market disparity in 2013.
Demand for housing clearly exceeded supply in the national urban growth areas, particularly in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, with highest demand for studios and one-bedroom apartments. In the areas where the economy is slowing down, the situation was reversed and, as supply was above demand, occupancy rates dropped.
Tough local markets were also reflected in resident turnover: the lowest turnover was experienced in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the highest in Oulu, both for privately financed and state-subsidised housing. According to statistics from the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA), resident turnover for state-subsidised rental apartments was three times higher in Southern Ostrobothnia than for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
Rents across VVO's total apartment stock increased by approximately 3.5 per cent on average year on year. Rents in privately financed apartments increased by 3.7 per cent, while those in state-subsidised ARA apartments increased by 3.2 per cent, further widening the gap between the finance methods. This disparity in rents partly explains the lower resident turnover for state-subsidised housing. The most dramatic increases in rental amounts and rental disparity were observed in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Rent development was also reflected in higher demand for smaller apartments. With regard to VVO's rental apartments, the average year-on-year change in rental income was 4.5 per cent.
New construction is clearly focused on the privately financed sector, while state-subsidised housing suffered, remaining well below the long-term average construction rates. New construction was almost exclusively centred in the areas of highest demand: the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and other national growth areas.
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