Study: pleasantness of apartments increasingly important in the rental housing market


Retta Management commissioned a survey of what Finnish consumers value most when it comes to choosing an apartment. Fifty-nine per cent of the respondents said they chose rental housing because it suits their current life situation. Above all, the possibility of changing apartment more flexibly was widely appreciated (by 61 per cent of respondents), whereas 53 per cent said they cannot afford to buy a home. The study was carried out by IROResearch.

More and more people are choosing to rent rather than own a home. According to Statistics Finland, rental housing is particularly widespread among people under the age of 40, and less than half of people in the 30–34 age group owned their apartment at the end of 2018.* Retta Management commissioned a survey by IRO Research to determine the reasons why people in Finland choose rental housing and what they value most when choosing a rented apartment.

In the study, 59 per cent of respondents said that renting an apartment suits their current life situation. Over half (53 per cent) of respondents stated that they cannot afford to own a home and have instead opted for rental housing. Over one-fifth (22 per cent) of respondents said they did not want to commit to ownership.

The flexibility of being able to change apartments was cited as an important reason for living in rented accommodation by 61 per cent of respondents. Over half (53 per cent ) said they appreciated the fact that they did not need to devote capital to housing.

“Many people nowadays move home due to work or study, making rental a better choice than buying a home. For young adults in particular the possibility of changing apartment is valued highly. There is no desire to commit capital to housing–they prefer to use it for other purposes”, says Retta Management’s director of real estate management servicesJussi Lindholm.

Price of rent the main factor in renting

The study asked respondents to assess the importance of various factors when choosing a rented apartment. The most important criterion was rent, which was cited by 90 per cent of respondents.
“This is not surprising, as housing costs account for a large proportion of people’s monthly spending. The second most important criterion for respondents was a bit more of a surprise: the pleasantness of the apartment. This was considered an important selection criterion by 72 per cent of respondents, whereas the pleasantness of the area was important to 69 per cent. The proximity of services was cited by 62 cent of respondents, and public transport connections by 58 per cent. The traditional ‘location, location, location’ is no longer the main factor when choosing a rented apartment”, Lindholm says.

Rental accommodation a long-term choice for many

Over half (54 per cent) of respondents stated that they would continue to live in rental accommodation for the next five years. A quarter of respondents believed they would own their home within the next five years. Three-quarters of respondents had also rented their previous home.

The respondents were also asked what would be the main criterion for their next move. Over one-fifth (22 per cent) said the reason for their next move would be moving into their own home. Seventeen per cent of respondents said the size of the apartment would be the main factor. The cost of rent was the most important factor for only nine per cent of respondents.


About the survey
IROResearch Oy’s “Tuhat suomalaista” (one thousand Finns) survey data was collected via the internet for the company's nationwide consumer panel. The sample weighted age, gender, place of residence and region to represent the Finnish population on a nationwide level. One thousand respondents were interviewed for the survey. The data was collected in the period from 22 November to 1 December 2019. The statistical margin of error for the study was approximately +3.2 percentage points.
More information:
Jussi Lindholm, director, Retta Management Oy, tel. +358 400 612 326,