Empty Stores and Offices: How Sweden Aims to Plug Housing Gap

The shift towards online shopping and working from home in Sweden has hurt businesses,but gives the country a chance to address the chronic housing shortage of around 140,000 homes. Complex regulations make construction costs among Europe’s highest and mortgage tax relief, zero-property tax and a highly regulated rental market have driven up prices for homebuyers, as well as increased household debt levels soaring. Conversions could ease this pressure and similar countries with shortages like Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany are looking to replicate the strategy. The government has been tasked with simplifying the building rules to assist with the plans.

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