There are many ways to gain access to an apartment in Finland. It is possible to buy or rent an apartment, or to buy it partially, or to buy a right of residence.
In a rental apartment, the residents pay a monthly rent to the apartment’s owner. They are responsible for taking good care of the apartment. The owner pays for possible renovation projects.
When buying a unit in a condominium in Finland, the buyer does not strictly buy the unit itself but rather buys shares in the condominium as if it were a company. These shares entitle the buyer to occupy a certain apartment in the condominium (or to rent it out). This is a Finnish peculiarity. The condominium owns the units and common spaces in the complex.
To buy partially means that the leaseholder purchases a certain amount of the unit shares. The lease is effective for 10 or 20 years. When the lease expires, the leaseholder has the option of buying the rest of the unit shares. The price of the unit shares remains the same as at the beginning of the lease.
To have a right of residence means that the inhabitant gets a permit of residence by paying a fee of 15% of the apartment’s purchase price. When living in the apartment, the resident pays a monthly charge for use.
What is Hitas?
Hitas is a price and quality control system operated by the City of Helsinki and enabled through conditions imposed on the allocation of land for construction. The aim of the system is to off er reasonably priced owner-occupied housing to city residents. In the 2000s, some 300 to 500 Hitas units have been built per year, accounting for about 8% of all new housing construction. In addition to price and quality control on new construction, the system also caps the resale prices for existing Hitas units. In 2014 about 12% of the total owner-occupied housing in Helsinki consists of Hitas units.