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In Sweden, the most common way to live is in an owned house, which constitutes nearly 39% of all residences. The next most common form is rental apartments, followed by condominiums or co-operative apartments. Together, these account for approximately 90% of the housing stock. Since 1990, the housing stock has increased by just over 28%, with the strongest growth among condominiums (an increase of 81%). Development varies regionally, with stronger growth in major cities compared to the rest of the country. Despite the increase, many municipalities still experience a housing shortage.

Housing Stock and Distribution: 2022.12.31 (Statistics Sweden)

Type of Housing Number Percent of Total Housing
Owned Houses 1,904,682 ~39%
Condominiums 1,025,598 ~21%
Rental Apartments 1,416,302 ~29%
Others 537,218 ~11%
Total 4,883,800 100%

Source: Statistics Sweden via Macrobond


Overview of the Total Number of Housing Types in Sweden (2023)

Most Common Form of Housing in Sweden

Owned houses are the primary form of housing. This reflects Swedish housing preferences where freedom and space that come with one’s own house are highly valued. Here is a brief overview of the popular housing types in Sweden:

  • Owned Houses (Private ownership): 39% of households
  • Multi-Dwelling Units (Rental): 29% of households
  • Multi-Dwelling Units (Condominium): 21% of households

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Types of Housing Forms


In Sweden, housing forms vary depending on factors like availability and demand. These forms reflect a diversity of lifestyles, wishes, and needs.

Owned Houses

Owned houses constitute the largest share of residences in Sweden. If you live in a house, you typically own the property directly or through land ownership. Examples of owned houses include villas and row houses.

Rental Apartments

If you live in a rental apartment, it usually means you have a lease in a multi-dwelling unit. The number of rentals can vary depending on the municipality and county, but they generally account for around a third of all residences.


Condominiums offer an alternative between renting and owning. When you acquire a condominium, it means you are buying the right to live in an apartment in a multi-dwelling unit with cooperative housing.

Other Forms of Housing

In addition to traditional forms, there are also special residences such as elderly homes and student housing. Other options include holiday homes as well as various forms of collective and special accommodation.

What is it Like Living in a Student Apartment?

Description of Student Housing

Scope and Size:

  • Smaller Space: Student apartments are often smaller with efficiently used spaces, often in the form of single rooms or studio apartments.
  • Furnishing: Many student apartments are partially or fully furnished to facilitate for students who often move.

Community and Social Life:

  • Common Areas: There may be common kitchens, study spaces, and sometimes communal living rooms, encouraging social interaction.
  • Social Events: Student residences may organize events and activities to foster a sense of community.

Practical Aspects:

  • Cost: The rent is often more affordable than regular apartments, which is important for students with a limited budget.
  • Location: Many student apartments are located near universities and colleges, making it easy to commute to studies and other activities.

What is it Like Living in a Sublease?


Living in a sublease means you rent a residence from the person who has the primary lease or ownership right to the property. This could involve renting a room, an apartment, or sometimes a house. Here are some general aspects often associated with living in a sublease:

Limited Term Contracts:
  • Shorter Rental Periods: Sublease contracts are often temporary or for a limited term, which can mean uncertainty about how long you can stay in the residence.
  • Rent: The rent may be higher than for a comparable primary lease contract because the primary tenant might charge an extra fee for furnishing or other conveniences.
Rules and Conditions:
  • Landlord’s Rules: As a sublease tenant, you must follow the rules and conditions set by both the primary tenant and the property owner.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: The responsibility for maintenance and repairs should be clearly defined in the lease agreement.
Furnishing and Equipment:
  • Furnished or Unfurnished: Many sublease contracts involve furnished apartments, which can be convenient if you do not own furniture.
Security and Stability:
  • Uncertainty: There may be uncertainty about the stability of the housing, especially if the primary tenant decides to move back or terminate the contract for another reason.
  • More Flexible: Sublease contracts can be more flexible than primary lease contracts, which may suit you if you do not want or cannot commit for a longer period.
Relationship to the Primary Tenant:
  • Communication: It is important to have clear communication with the primary tenant to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
  • Contract: It is important to have a written contract that clearly states the terms of the rental relationship.
  • Legality: In some cases, there may be restrictions or laws regulating subleasing, so it is important to ensure everything is done correctly.
  • Less Private: If you are renting a room in a residence where the primary tenant also lives, it can affect your privacy and space.

Conditions for Lodging


Demographic Perspectives

This section explores the demographic differences in housing choices, including age groups and socio-economic factors. The various housing forms in Sweden are strongly influenced by demographic factors such as age, life situation, and gender. You can see clear trends in how different groups distribute themselves between houses, apartments, and other forms of housing.

Families with children often favor houses, providing space for children to play and access to a private garden. Single individuals, regardless of gender, may prefer smaller apartments in multi-family buildings, especially in cities, appreciating the proximity to services and public transportation that urban living often offers. There are variations between men and women in terms of housing choices. Statistics from the Statistics Sweden (SCB) show that single women with children may prioritize safety and proximity to schools higher than single men do.

Elderly individuals often live together, but there is also a significant portion of elderly who are single. Many seniors seek housing forms that require less maintenance and are easily accessible, such as apartments on lower floors or senior living facilities. In other household types such as shared households or cohabitation without family bonds, apartment living is more common. Shared apartments or collectives can be economically advantageous and socially enriching for individuals who are still studying or have recently started their careers.

The historical development shows that there has been a steady increase in houses as the preferred form of housing. This trend reflects a long-standing tradition of valuing ownership and privacy. As you look forward, you can expect continued changes in housing forms as society develops. This may include everything from even more energy-efficient buildings to smart home technologies that meet future sustainability requirements.

The trend of increasing condominiums is expected to grow. To reduce the housing shortage, we can expect that the development of new housing is needed to ensure people’s long-term needs for living. Building new housing is also needed to achieve stable growth. The future of housing in Sweden and its expectations are based on statistical data and economic conditions.

In Conclusion

The current statistics show that if you live in Sweden, you are most likely to live in a house or some form of multi-dwelling house. These housing forms have shaped the Swedish residential landscape and are likely to continue being a central part of how you and your fellow citizens live.

For more detailed information about housing forms in Sweden, you can read more on the Statistics Sweden (SCB) website.

Question: What is the most common form of housing in Sweden?

Answer: In Sweden, the most common form of living is in an owned house, which constitutes nearly 39% of all residences.

Question: What are the other popular forms of housing besides owned houses?

Answer: The other popular forms of housing are rental apartments, accounting for about 29%, and condominiums, constituting about 21% of the housing stock.

Question: What does it mean to live in a sublease?

Answer: Living in a sublease means you rent a residence from the person who has the primary lease or ownership right to the property. This could involve renting a room, an apartment, or sometimes a house. Sublease contracts are often temporary or for a limited term, which may be more flexible but can also mean higher rent and less security.

Question: How common is black-market renting?

Answer: There is no official statistic on how widespread black-market renting is. It often occurs in areas with a housing shortage, where it’s difficult to find housing, and people become desperate enough to accept unreasonable terms to secure a place to live.

Question: Is third-hand renting legal?

Answer: It is not permitted to rent out an apartment in third-hand without consent from the property owner. Doing so constitutes a breach of contract.

Question: What is considered an unreasonable rent?

Answer: Unreasonable rent refers to a rent level that exceeds what is considered fair and reasonable for a specific property based on its size, condition, location, and other relevant factors.