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Housing, Socio-Economic Security and Risks. A Qualitative Comparison of Household Attitudes in Finland and Sweden


  • Eva Andersson
  • Paivi Naumanen
  • Hannu Ruonavaara
  • Bengt Turner


This paper addresses the meaning of housing and the perception of socio-economic security of different forms of tenure in Sweden and Finland. Household interviews reveal that, in stark contrast to Finland, Swedish respondents think that home ownership is not safer than renting. Few 'absolutists' can be found in Sweden who believe that one tenure is superior to the other, while home ownership is still favoured in Finland despite a major housing crash in the 1990s. However, some similarities were also present: for example, even though renting has a much more positive image in Sweden than in Finland, home ownership nonetheless was the number one housing preference. There are prima facie reasons to assume that attitudes in the two countries would tend towards convergence given the marked similarities in culture and society due to common history and cultural diffusion (usually from Sweden to Finland) and similar welfare state models producing relatively low income inequality. The paper hypothesizes that differences in attitudes are due to different institutional arrangements in connection with different cultural values attached to housing and tenure.

Suggested Citation

  • Eva Andersson & Paivi Naumanen & Hannu Ruonavaara & Bengt Turner, 2007. "Housing, Socio-Economic Security and Risks. A Qualitative Comparison of Household Attitudes in Finland and Sweden," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 151-172.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:7:y:2007:i:2:p:151-172
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710701308547

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    Cited by:

    1. Karen M. Gibler & Tanja Tyvimaa, 2014. "The Potential for Consumer Segmentation in the Finnish Housing Market," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 351-379, June.


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