Kalasatama district in Helsinki. Photo: Jussi Hellsten, Helsinki Marketing

Housing production goals for Helsinki Region exceeded in 2016–2019

In 2016–2019, a total of 64,082 housing units were completed in the Helsinki Region. The number exceeds the housing production goals established in the MAL agreement between the municipalities in the Helsinki Region and the Government concerning land use, housing and transport.

In the “In the limelight” article of the fresh Helsinki Region Trends publication, HSY’s Region Data Expert Vilja Tähtinen takes a look at the goals for the housing production and construction.

The basic goals for the land use planning were also mainly met in the Helsinki Region. The approved local detailed plans for housing had a total floor area of 5.77 million square metres, which is 94 per cent of the goal. 95 percent of the local detailed plans took effect.

The goals concerning a more solid urban structure and support to sustainable transport were mainly met, as around 70 per cent of the housing units and detailed plans completed were reachable by sustainable transport means.

The number of passenger boardings and the proceeds from ticket sales increased as well. The number of boardings grew by more than 8 per cent between 2016–¬2019, which was considerably more than the population growth in the area. According to the 2018 transport survey, the share of sustainable transport means, or walking, cycling and public transport, of all journeys was 60 per cent.

An essential goal in the MAL agreement was to intensify the collaboration between the municipalities and to continue with the joint planning in land use, housing and traffic, based on the previous agreement period. The collaboration goals were met and a new MAL agreement for the Helsinki Region has been negotiated. Preparations for a new MAL 2023 plan have already started as well.

Further info on the MAL agreement:
hsy.fi/mal-seuranta

Coronavirus impact felt especially in service industries

The current topics review of the Helsinki Region Trends publication includes a summary of the development in the economy, labour market and traffic in the region during January-March. The changes caused by the coronavirus outbreak are only partially visible in these figures.

In the Helsinki Region, the industry, the construction and information and the business life services kept growing, but the production growth slowed down considerably during the first quarter of the year. The coronavirus outbreak had a negative effect on the production especially in the service industries. The business activities in accommodation and restaurant services and in transport and trade took a downturn.

The impact of the crisis was not yet entirely visible in the accommodation statistics for January-March. Despite that, the overnight stays decreased in Uusimaa by 15 per cent - foreign overnight stays by 19 per cent and domestic overnight stays by 12 per cent.

The sales in trade decreased during the beginning of 2020, after four years of growth. The sales in the Helsinki Region declined by 0.2 per cent in January-March. The full impact of the crisis will likely become visible during in the second quarter of the year.

The share of unemployed of the total labour force was 11.1 per cent in the Helsinki Region at the end of March according to statistics by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The unemployment rate was three percentage points higher than in the previous year. The unemployment and lay-offs increased especially among young people. At the end of March, there were 9,720 unemployed under the age of 25, which was 73 per cent more than a year ago.

The number of passengers in public transport decreased as well in the Helsinki Region in January-March. In Helsinki, the number of passengers decreased by 13 per cent, in Vantaa by 14 per cent and in Espoo and Kauniainen by 10 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Housing prices in metropolitan area and in other parts of Finland still diverging from each other

Helsinki Region Trends monitors the development of the housing market and the population growth in the region as well. According to the preliminary figures, the prices of old flats in the metropolitan area increased during the first quarter by more than 4 per cent compared to the situation last year. In other parts of Finland, the square-metre prices remained practically unchanged. In the KUUMA municipalities, the price development has been descending during the last few years, even though the most recent change points to an increase in the prices.

The population growth in the Helsinki Region is still rapid. The population of the Helsinki Region was approximately 1,516,000 at the end of March. The population of the region increased by 4,010 residents in January-March. More than half of the growth came through migration gain from abroad. The Helsinki Region’s migration gain from elsewhere in Finland decreased significantly compared to the same period last year due to the intensive out-migration.

Helsinki Region Trends is a quarterly publication, whose latest topical review provides a look into the development directions in the beginning of 2020. The exceptional development caused by the coronavirus epidemic is only beginning to show. The development of the region is described in the publication through indicators for regional economy, housing and premises market, well-being, traffic and environment, labour market and population.

Helsinki Region: Espoo, Helsinki, Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Tuusula, Vantaa and Vihti
KUUMA region: Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Tuusula and Vihti.

Publication:

Helsinki Region Trends 2/2020, pdf publication (in Finnish) 

Helsinki Region Trends, website