The housing market in Sweden: a political-historical perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The price of housing in Sweden has, over the past couple of decades, increased at a much faster rate than salaries. Politicians have tried to steer the housing market towards the provision of affordable housing, but have not succeeded. After 1993, the responsibility for regulating the price of housing transferred to the market, which is more interested in building for high-income earners. Despite several reports focusing mostly on productivity levels in the production of housing, little has changed. When problems persist without any significant change, it is necessary to look for fundamental, structural explanations. The study reported here offers a political-historical perspective of the Swedish housing market and its impact on the price of housing. The methodology encompasses an overview and analysis of governmental reports covering political actions to stimulate the production of housing. The findings reveal that prices depend on a malfunction in political control and unclear roles of the actors in the construction sector. It is difficult to control the price of housing because of the many actors involved, each of whom has different knowledge, practices and approaches that are not always conductive to innovation, lifecycle thinking or applying ‘lessons learned’. Problems such as lack of cooperation and weak commitment among actors, a fragmented construction process and the absence of a holistic approach force up the price of new housing. This study argues for further empirical work to investigate and clarify the roles that actors have or should have in housing projects. The findings might then suggest the political incentives needed to stimulate the industry to provide affordable housing for average-income earners.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Construction Management


  • housing market, Sweden, politics, actors, roles
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Place of PublicationGothenburg, Sweden
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

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