Nordic housing markets and policies

Housing plays a central role for people’s welfare. Its share of household consumption is about 25 percent on average, larger than that of any other item in a typical household’s budget. It is not surprising that issues related to housing figure prominently in public discussion. Nordic housing markets face more or less the same problems and challenges, but the ways policies and regulations deal with them differ in many respects. A comparison of policies, regulations and results across countries yields valuable lessons for policy makers.

This year, the Nordic Economic Policy Review (NEPR) dives into the Nordic housing markets, examining some of the key policy mechanisms behind the rapidly rising housing prices, as well as the impacts on social welfare and social and ethnic segregation. The theme is selected by the NEPR steering group, which consists of representatives from the Nordic Ministries of Finance, Nordregio, and the NEPR academic project manager.

This publication provides a short summary of the five NEPR 2021 articles, which seek to answer the following questions:

  • André Anundsen: What is the prevalence of house price bubbles in the Nordics?
  • Erlend Eide Bø: Do buy-to-let investments lead to higher housing prices?
  • Mats Bergman and Sten Nyberg: What explains the large increase in the relative cost of construction?
  • Niku Määttänen: How can housing taxation improve social welfare?
  • Essi Eerola: How do Nordic housing policies affect affordability and integration?

The full report is available here: