Rent control Europe: France

Population: 66,689,000 GDP: $2,829,192,039,172 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €1,128.44 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €13,639.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre (Paris) Avg. Monthly Rent: €848.59

France boasts the second largest economy in the European Union, and alongside their German counterparts, are responsible for a major portion of the fiscal policy introduced by the Eurozone nations. French legislation is also among the most pro-tenant in the world, and this is coupled with the policies introduced by Francois Hollande, the French Socialist President, which target the wealthy.

Currently, France is faced with housing shortages of record proportions; despite government subsidies and tax cuts incentivising construction of rental properties, household investment is at its lowest point since mid-1999. This lack of investment puts additional stress on companies and consumers to create growth, and spur the recovery forward. Paris in particular is a popular destination for foreign investors, which has caused local legislation intended to curtail this absentee ownership. These housing regulations have made the situation worse, with additional restrictions on rents decreasing investor interest in the area.

There also exists considerable …

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Rent control Europe: Finland

Population: 5,488,543 GDP: $237,111,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €575.00 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €6,214.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €887.30

Our second foray into the Nordic countries takes us to Finland; similarly to Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, the Finnish economy enjoyed unprecedented growth from 1999, when it joined the European Union’s single currency, until the recession in 2008. In comparison with the rest of the Eurozone, Finland’s recovery has been strong; in 2012, the public debt in Finland was estimated at 50% of GDP, significantly lower than the beleaguered Germans, for whom public debt was 80% of GDP.

Measured differently, however, the Finnish recovery is less impressive. In Q2 2012, the Finnish GDP dropped by 1%, whereas its nearby neighbour Sweden enjoyed an increase of 1.4% in the same period. In the same year, the Swedish government ran an account surplus of 7% of GDP, whereas the Finnish government operated its first deficit since 1993.

The differences between Sweden and Finland extend to their handling of property: while Sweden is staunchly pro-tenant, the practices …

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