HT 29 June 2015: Helsinki’s vacant homes could accommodate every resident of Imatra

Jun 30, 2015

Over 300,000 homes are without a permanent resident in Finland.

While many of those properties are located in municipalities with negative net migration, where homeowners are simply unable to find a buyer for their homes, the population centres also have their fair share of vacant homes.

The over 28,000 homes that were without a permanent resident in Helsinki at the end of last year, for example, represent 8.2 per cent of the housing stock of the city. That is an enormous amount, equivalent to the population of Imatra.

How is it possible that Helsinki has enough vacant properties to accommodate the entire population of a small town? And why are there nearly as many vacant properties in Helsinki relative to population than elsewhere in Finland?


Nearly 30,000 vacant properties is a lot, regardless of what you compare it to. Plans are currently afoot to build 15,000—30,000 homes at the Helsinki-Malmi Airport, while roughly 4,000 new homes are being built in Helsinki every year. Last year, a total of 1,400 new rental units were built in the Finnish capital.

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