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Housing costs in Helsinki
At the beginning of 2020, the average rent per square metre in Helsinki was €22.70 in the free market and €13 after state subsidies (Statistics Finland). You also need to pay for electricity, Internet, water and home insurance, which is often required by the landlord.
If you own a home, you pay a maintenance charge and possibly a mortgage. If you buy a home in Helsinki and apply for a loan for it, the banks recommend that the monthly housing costs should not exceed 40% of the total income.
If your family’s income is low, you may be entitled to housing allowance. You can also apply for an affordable rental home from the City of Helsinki (Heka).
If you want to rent or buy a home in Helsinki and you have questions about housing, call and ask for advice in English on +358 9 310 5015 (local call charge).
Check the sales prices and rents of homes on the Asuntojen.hintatiedot.fi website of the Ministry of the Environment (select Helsinki).
Nearly one-half of the people in Helsinki live in rental homes. Housing is rented out by many companies, the City of Helsinki, private persons and other entities. You can also ask your employer about company housing.
The price of a rental home in Helsinki is affected by its size, location and condition. Outside the city centre, rents are more affordable. Most homes with two rooms and a kitchen in Helsinki cost about EUR 800–1,100 per month, and most homes with three rooms and a kitchen cost about EUR 1,000–1,500 per month. The rents of furnished homes are slightly higher.
In addition to the rent, the occupant must also pay the electricity bill, water rate, home insurance and any Internet connection. In addition, you must pay a rent security deposit, which is 1–3 months’ rent. It is returned when you move out of the home.
Private rental housing
In Helsinki, small homes are the most sought after. You should look for homes in a large enough area. That way, you will have a better chance of finding a home. The companies Sato and VVO&,Lumo provide housing on a faster than average schedule. You should apply for housing in several places at the same time. You can search for information on rental homes in Helsinki through various online services.
Rental apartments owned by the City of Helsinki
Rental homes owned by the City of Helsinki (ARA housing) are more affordable than rental homes in the private market. You also do not need to pay a rent security deposit. City-owned rental homes are provided through the Applying for rental housing (vuokra-asunnon haku) service. You can apply for a rental home owned by the City of Helsinki either electronically or by visiting the Applying for rental housing service:
- Fill in an electronic application form in the Applying for rental housing service. For the electronic application, you need personal online banking credentials or Mobile ID.
- If you are unable to prove your identity electronically, you can also apply for housing by visiting the information desk for applying for rental housing. Take with you a valid identity card or passport. You will also need a personal e-mail account to prove your identity and register.
Applying for rental housing
Tel. 09 310 13030
The application is valid for three months at a time. If your application for an Ara rental home expires, you must submit a new application.
In order to apply for a city-owned rental home, you need to have a residence permit that is valid for at least one year. City-owned rental homes have many applicants. You can ask about the rental homes of the City of Helsinki by e-mail asunnonhaku(at)hel.fi or in the Housing consultation chat service.
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City of HelsinkiHousing consultation serviceLink redirects to another website
Housing for students and young people
If you study full-time, you can apply for a rental home through HOAS. You can also ask about a rental home at your own educational institute or through the City of Helsinki’s Rental Apartment Search service.
HOAS (Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region)
Tel. 09 549 900
Ask about student rental homes by e-mail at asumispalvelut(at)hoas.fi
Read more about student housing on the InfoFinland page Student housing.
You can ask the Finnish Youth Housing Association or Nuorisosäätiö about reasonably priced housing for young people. You may have to wait to get a rental home. You can also ask various associations and foundations about rental homes for young people.
Buying a home
Slightly more than 40% of all homes in Helsinki are owner-occupied homes. Living in an owner-occupied home is cheaper in the long term. You can find information on how to find a home, mortgage, home sales and responsibilities of the seller and buyer on the InfoFinland page Buying a home.
In the summer of 2019, the most expensive homes in Helsinki cost an average of EUR 7,300 per square metre. The most affordable homes cost an average of EUR 3,000 per square metre. Housing prices in Helsinki rose by an average of 2.4% per year. You can view the average housing prices by district on a map on the City of Helsinki website. The most expensive area is the central area Helsinki 1 marked in green.
You can find adverts for available housing on housing search websites.
If you want to build a detached house in Helsinki, you need to get a plot of land and a building permit. You can find more information on building a detached house on the City of Helsinki website.
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What is a right-of-occupancy home (asumisoikeusasunto)? How to apply for a right-of-occupancy home? Read more on the InfoFinland page Housing in Finland.
The City of Helsinki website contains information on how to find a right-of-occupancy home in Helsinki, such as
- how to apply for right of occupancy in Helsinki
- what a is queue number and how to get one
- which companies and associations own right-of-occupancy homes.
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Practical information on housing
You can find a lot of practical information on housing on the following InfoFinland pages:
- looking for a home, on page Housing in Finland
- a checklist for moving house, on page Moving house
- fire safety, electrical work and water damage prevention, on page Safety at home
Read more about the rules and rights connected to housing on the InfoFinland page Rights and obligations of occupants.
Waste and recycling
Sort waste according to the instructions, so that it can be recycled. Mixed waste is transported to an energy plant in Helsinki. You can find more information about sorting waste on the InfoFinland page Waste and recy cling. Some domestic waste, such as furniture, electrical equipment or construction waste, must be taken to the Sortti station.
You can find information on waste sorting and recycling points in Helsinki on the HSY (Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority) website.
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You can contact the social services of the City of Helsinki about housing problems.
If you cannot continue living at home because a member of your family uses violence against you or threatens to do so, you can contact a shelter.
Read more about the shelters located in Helsinki, and supported and service housing on the InfoFinland page Family in Helsinki.
If you become homeless, contact the social services office. A social worker can help you find housing.
The service centre for the homeless on Hietaniemenkatu is open every day around the clock. You can spend the night there, if necessary. The service centre offers a place to spend the night for residents of Helsinki with a substance abuse problem, if they have no other place to go.
Hietaniemenkatu 5 B
Tel. (09) 310 466 28
The NGO No Fixed Abode (Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry) runs a night café called Kalkkers that offers a warm place for the homeless to spend the night from autumn to spring. Kalkkers is open from 10 pm to 6 am. There are no places for sleeping at the centre, and it is not an alcohol and drug-free facility. They will not ask you whether you have a residence permit or not. The centre is located in Helsinki at Ratamestarinkatu 6, Itä-Pasila, and the telephone number is 050 443 1068. E-mail: kalkkers(at)vvary.fi. Immigration experts working at the same address:
- Mon–Thu: Finnish, English, Bulgarian. Tel. 044 260 3818
- Fri: Finnish and Russian. Tel. 050 407 9703
Further information: Homelessness.