Swedish Language Blog

Housing in Sweden Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Culture

I cheated when I moved to Sweden. I blame my parents. I have dual citizenship so I didn’t have to deal with any sort of visa or residency permit. No work permit. No student permit. Life was good. But I did still have to deal with housing. And that doesn’t mean life is good.

A recent conversation with a couple of good friends living in Stockholm reminded me of this. And they said something which struck home, I wish we had known. So, if you are planning on moving to Sweden (and I should note that this is mostly going to be Stockholm based. Sorry.), now you know.

Housing in Sweden, especially Stockholm, can be incredibly frustrating. There are several different contracts available if you aren’t looking to buy. There are first-hand contracts. There are second-hand contracts, which means that someone with a first-hand rental contract decides to rent it out. There is student housing. There is youth housing. There is retired housing. With all of these options, you would think finding a place to live would be easy. You would be wrong. At least in Stockholm.

Second-hand contracts are what people usually end up getting. Mostly because first-hand contracts are so very rare. You have to wait in line for these. And you pay a small fee every year to stay in line. If you’re hoping to live in the middle of town, get in line now. You may have to wait up to 20 years. And no, I’m not kidding. Or exaggerating.

If you’re a student in Stockholm check out SSSB.

If you want that first-hand contract, check out Stockholms Stads Bostadsförmedling.

And if you just need a place to live, start searching:

There are several more to choose from, but that should get you started. Be aware that some require you to pay a small monthly fee to even look at the apartments. I’m not even going to pretend to know if that is worth the money. You’ll have to make that decision on your own.

Good luck.

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


  1. Angelica:

    That is news to me, I had never heard of this problem. Not that I’m moving to Sweden any time soon, but it’s good to know. Thanks!

  2. Marcus Cederström:

    it really is an issue for a lot of people who move there