Friday, 26 October 2007

Ordinary wage-earners can no longer afford to live in the Helsinki region

"Shortage of land pushes housing costs to among highest in Europe."

"In Belgium, for instance, which has twice as many inhabitants as in Finland, although the whole country is smaller than the Province of South Finland, people live in cheaper and more spacious accommodation than in Finland."

"In Finland, the population is increasingly gravitating toward the Helsinki region and other urban growth centres."
"We are getting near the point where ordinary wage-earners can no longer afford to live in the Helsinki region", says Anja Mäkeläinen, managing director of the building and housing construction foundation Asuntosäätio.

The high costs are getting to be an impediment for middle-income service sector professionals, such as nurses and bus drivers, to live in the Helsinki region.

The price of land has gone up even more in recent years than that of construction or of houses or apartments. Lujanen says that a "myth" prevails in Finland that the present prices follow the laws of the market economy."

Some taxes are beneficial and some are detrimental. For instance, in the United States, they understood long ago that unbuilt plots of land fit for construction should be taxed."

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