Sweden real estate dates back centuries and yet progressiveness defines its architecture, design aesthetic and social welfare system.
One of the world’s most generous social services systems includes universal health care, affordable child care and a parental leave policy of up to 480 paid days per child. Life is good for seniors, too. A 2013 report by Global AgeWatch ranked Sweden first out of 91 countries when considering such factors as health care, income security and the environment for older adults.
On the job, Sweden’s corporate culture emphasizes live-work balance believing perks like flexible working hours yields a more productive work force.
The Swedish lifestyle is an active one. Residences take advantage of long, bright summers going full force into the wee Midnight Sun hours. Winters are extreme but no deterrent to outdoor sports like cross country, downhill skiing, ice skating and hockey--no matter the temperatures and virtually no matter where. A “right to roam” law called allemansrätten allows the public access to privately owned land for recreational purposes.
Eighty-five percent of Sweden’s 9.7 million inhabitants live in or near cities. Immigration has been a consistent source of population growth. There are no restrictions on international buyers.
Stockholm is Sweden’s power base, a canal city in Lake Mälaren with the Baltic Sea to the east. Sections of the city like cobblestone-lined Old Town are marked by a historic infrastructure that’s largely intact. Celebrated architects have left their marks and continue to do so. Buildings like Sven-Harrys Art Museum with its shiny brass façade, the Karolinska Institute lecture hall and Stockholm Waterfront complex with its free-form stainless steel strips are double-take territory that attract visitors for their innovative facades. Even a cemetery is a tourist attraction. The Woodland Cemetery, a collaboration of leading Swedish architects, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The capital is spread over 14 islands and connected by some 57 bridges, which is why it’s sometimes called the Nordic Venice. Elegant neighborhoods include the leafy Ostermalm in Central Stockholm, fashionable Vasastaden and the green island of Djurgarden. Suburban areas such as Djursholm are where high net worth Swedes call home. East of Stockholm is a vast archipelago of some 20,000 islands. Seaside resorts like Dalaro are popular vacation home enclaves.
Gothenberg, on the West Coast, and multicultural Malmo on the country’s southwestern tip are Sweden’s second and third largest cities respectively. They are both international destinations with compact yet vibrant café and cultural lives. Gothenberg’s southern archipelago is a seaside home destination. Marstrand, an easy day trip, is a major summer resort where the occasional Swedish royal is known to retreat.