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Sweden to plug its housing gap by converting offices, shops

Sweden to plug its housing gap by converting offices, shops

Sweden reports a dramatic shift towards online shopping and remote working. Due to pandemic, the country got now too many empty shops and business, but not enough housing, The Local Sweden has learned.

The Swedish government faced an unprecedented crisis in housing this year. To fill that gap, PM ordered to investigate how commercial real estate in the wake of the epidemic could be converted into housing.

In recent months, Sweden people have increased online activity while the offices and shops closed one by one. The remote working trend became a new reality, meaning that Sweden has now too many empty shops and offices, but not enough housing.

A chronic housing shortage, with around 140,000 homes needed becomes a new challenge for the government. In addition, complicated rules make construction costs in Sweden among Europe’s highest.

In Sweden, a highly regulated rental market has increased house prices and almost doubled the household debt, bringing economic instability to many.

Pandemic dictates new trend to fill the housing gap

Sweden’s National Board of Housing is looking over the country’s complex building regulations to find out how offices and shops may be converted into housing in the future.

“The corona pandemic has meant that more sectors are considering making distance and work-at-home solutions permanent, which may mean that there are properties that can instead be used for housing,” Deputy Finance Minister Per Bolund told Reuters.

In fact, covid has only accelerated the effect of e-commerce. Pandemic is going to be very hard for many physical shops going forward.