Goal: Accelerated growth in housing production according to the Implementation Programme on Housing and Related Land Use
Housing construction in Helsinki has been record-breaking active in recent years. A total of 7,105 new dwellings were completed in Helsinki in 2021 and the average of the last three years exceeds the target limit of 7,000 new dwellings.
The goal of the current strategy period is to accelerate the growth in housing production in accordance with the Implementation Programme on Housing and Related Land Use. In the programme approved in 2020, Helsinki’s housing production target for 2022 is to build at least 7,000 new dwellings and at least 8,000 dwellings from 2023 onwards.
During the first quarter of 2022, building permits were granted for 1,501 dwellings, which clearly exceeds the level of the previous two years. The number of started housing production projects also exceeded the level of the previous year. However, the number of completed dwellings remained below the level of previous years.
Goal: Mitigating the rise in housing costs
Prices of dwellings have risen in Helsinki throughout the 21st century, and the rise has been particularly rapid in the 2010s. The price of housing has become considerably higher in the centre of Helsinki and the surrounding areas than in the suburban zone or elsewhere in Finland. However, there are still areas in Helsinki where the prices of dwellings are closer to the level of more affordable municipalities. Regional price differentiation has grown stronger since the 2010s.
The rent level development in Helsinki has been more stable than the price development. The increase in average rents seemed to have come to a halt in the last quarter of 2021, but in the longer term rents have increased and differentiated by area. The highest rents are paid in price areas 1 and 2. By contrast, rents are much more affordable in price areas 3 and 4 in the suburban zone. The rent differences between the non-subsidised dwellings and the state-subsidised rental dwellings have grown considerably in Helsinki.
Goal: Creating balanced neighbourhoods
The balanced development of the areas is promoted by investing in urban renewal areas, diverse housing production and the attractiveness of the urban environment. The designated urban renewal areas are Malminkartano–Kannelmäki, Malmi and Mellunkylä as well as Vuosaari. In line with the objectives of the Implementation Programme on Housing and Related Land Use, the aim is to ensure the preconditions for the construction of one-third of new housing in the urban renewal areas by 2035 so that the housing stock distribution, in terms of occupancy and financing, develops towards the city’s objectives. The aim is to increase the housing stock in the urban renewal areas by at least 2 per cent per year during the current strategy period.
Goal: Increased housing density
People live clearly closer together in Helsinki than in the rest of the country. The population density in the whole city area is 3,034 residents/km2 and naturally even higher in the residential areas (4,805 residents/km2). Densification of the urban structure increases the population density of the residential areas.
The population density of the residential areas has remained roughly the same on the city level for a couple of years. This has been impacted by lower population growth than in the previous years. During the first quarter of 2022, the population density in the city’s residential areas has increased by one resident per square kilometre.