Home buyers are increasingly appreciating the proximity to good outdoor opportunities.

The change in interests is also expected to affect the value of apartments.

According to Mika Pärssinen, CEO of the real estate company Habita, the change can be clearly seen in what people want and emphasize when buying an apartment.

Areas in demand are those where various activities are a little effort away.

Restaurants, shops and services are still important, he said, but there are other values ​​as well.

Habita does not have exact data on the effects of the proximity of different activities on the transactions made, but according to Pärssinen, there has been a change in the kind of things people want when looking for housing.

- Things related to outdoor activities, sports and sports are currently reflected in the wishes of buyers.

Shopping malls, train or bus station are no longer the only things that solve.

Las Kod Palovaara, Director of OP Kodi, also estimates that more emphasis will be placed on sports opportunities and closeness to nature when buying an apartment.

- Certainly a component is that nature trails, bite trails and ski trails are close and easily accessible.

The phenomenon is noticeable especially in large cities

According to Pärssinen and Palovaara, the phenomenon can be seen in all large cities.

In sparsely populated areas, opportunities for activities are easier to realize.

- In more densely populated areas and city centers, we have to look for exercise opportunities from further away, Palovaara says.

- In the countryside, nature and certain activities have always been close, says Pärssinen.

Palovaara says that currently OP Kodi's customers in Helsinki are interested in at least The Hague, Pakila, Maunula, Paloheinä and the enduring favorite Vuosaari.

Pärssinen mentions the residential area of ​​Paloheinä, Pakila, Tapanila, Tapaninvainio and Postipuisto, which is under construction in the vicinity of North Pasila Central Park.

- Some of the apartments for sale in Postipuisto have gone exceptionally fast.

Both Palovaara and Pärssinen consider the surroundings of Helsinki Central Park to be a good example of an area of ​​interest.

The surroundings of the park combine the proximity of nature, services and transport connections.

- Perhaps more people see a combination in which services are available, but there is also a loose living environment nearby, Palovaara estimates.

The data confirm the phenomenon

The material collected by Habita for Ilta-Sanomat confirms the existence of the phenomenon.

Habita has compiled certain postal code areas from Helsinki, Oulu and Jyväskylä, as well as Turku and Tampere.

Demand for housing has increased in these areas over the past two years and housing sales times have shortened.

Postal code areas are located close to outdoor terrain, so the increase in demand and shorter sales times may well be due to the outdoor opportunities offered by the areas.

Such areas in Jyväskylä, for example, are postcode areas 40270 and 40740. In Oulu, the interest of home buyers would seem to be particularly strong in postcode areas 90440, 90650 and 90670.

- One home buyer just made a sale of a newer house in just one of these areas.

He had told the broker that the purchase decision had been influenced by the short distance between the house and the nearest ski slope, Pärssinen says.

According to Pärssinen, it is difficult to name one individual area from Tampere that would have become popular due to the outdoor opportunities offered by the area.

This may be explained by the Kauppi and Pyynikki Sports Parks near the city center and the extensive outdoor terrain in the Hervanta district.

In Turku, on the other hand, the demand for housing seems to be outside the city limits, in the neighboring city of Kaarina.

- The Kaarina area stands out from the data compiled by Habita, especially because the sales times of apartments there have shortened the most of the cities included in the comparison, Pärssinen says.

The impact on the value of housing is difficult to assess

Buyers' interest is also expected to have a positive effect on the value of homes.

The impact is so far difficult to assess.

Pärssinen emphasizes that the proximity of nature is not the only influential factor, but based on people's interest, it will be a significant added value.

- It is already being seen as an increase in demand.

Assuming no change in the market situation, it will affect prices.

Changes in the market could be, for example, rising interest rates, a deteriorating employment situation or a significant increase in supply.

Palovaara also does not want to present estimates of a possible increase in value.

However, the basic principle in the housing market is simple.

- If proximity to sports opportunities becomes more and more desirable, there will be more willing buyers.

Yes it raises the price.

He also stresses that prices are affected by other things as well.

The reason is not only in the exceptional period

Pärssinen and Palovaara believe that the change is partly due to the exception period caused by the corona.

The same phenomenon is reflected in the fact that summer cottages are currently sold a lot.

People have wanted to live close to activities in the past, but Pärssinen says that there has been an exceptional emphasis on sports, outdoor activities and sports opportunities over the past year.

Palovaara believes that the exception period has changed people's opportunities for normal exercise and commuting.

- Some people may not want to go inside to move, so alternatives to moving are sought elsewhere.

However, he does not want to overemphasize the effect of the corona, although, for example, opportunities to work remotely also influence purchasing decisions.

The change is believed to be permanent

Pärssinen and Palovaara estimate that the change will be permanent and will not end until the end of the corona pandemic.

Versatile outdoor and sports opportunities will continue to be valued.

- Healthy lifestyles have been a long-term trend and a slow change, which is now behind the corona, Palovaara says.

Pärssinen believes that people have become accustomed to living in a slightly different way than before, especially with the corona pandemic.

During the pandemic and teleworking, the importance of the home environment has also changed.

- We have lived through a year of exception, and people have learned new ways to be.

- Why would people suddenly stop going out and moving if they have felt good about it and they are used to it, he wonders.

In these residential areas, demand has increased and sales times have shortened

Since December 2019, the demand for housing in Oulu has increased by about 20–25 per cent in the postal code areas 90440, 90650 and 90670.

At the same time, sales times have been shortened by 18 days in these three areas.

In Jyväskylä, the demand for housing has increased in two years by about 16–20 per cent in the postal code areas 40270 and 40740.

Home sales times, on the other hand, have been shortened by four days in these two postcode areas over the same period.

The figures for Tampere are in Habita's data as a whole, because there is not a single postcode area in the city where the demand for housing has increased more than in other areas and sales times have clearly shortened.

Overall, the demand for housing in Tampere has increased by about 20–24 per cent over the past two years.

At the same time, home sales times have been shortened by four days.

In Turku, the demand for housing is outside the city limits, in the neighboring city of Kaarina.

Demand in the Kaarina region has increased by about 19–23 percent since December 2019.

The sales times of apartments in the Kaarina area have been shortened by the same amount by 25 days, ie by almost a month.

In Helsinki, the demand for housing seems to have increased in the districts of Aurinkolahti, Vuosaari and Myllypuro, as well as in Tapanila, Tapaninkylä and Tapaninvainio.

In Aurinkolahti and Vuosaari, the demand for housing has increased by about 18–22 per cent in two years.

In Myllypuro, the corresponding figure is 20–23 per cent.

In the Tapanila, Tapaninkylä and Tapaninvainio areas, demand increased by approximately 24–28 per cent from December 2019.

The sales times of apartments in Aurinkolahti and Vuosaari districts have been shortened by nine days and in Myllypuro the sales times have been shortened by eight days.

In the districts of Tapanila, Tapaninkylä and Tapaninvaino, sales times have not shortened during the day.

This may be explained by the low number of home sales in the regions over the last two years.

Data compiled from material provided by real estate company Habita.

Habita has collected sales times from the price monitoring service and has received information on the growth in demand from its own customer service register.

There are currently more than 60,000 active home seekers on the register.