The reality of searching for a home

As some friends of mine are moving to Copenhagen in the summer I have been helping out a little with apartment viewing for them as they can’t get to the city too often. To say that it has been an eye-opener is an understatement. Back in 2008, when we first moved here, we were lucky enough to have the services of a relocation company but nevertheless there was plenty of suitable apartments to view. We came for one day and saw five places, all but one would have worked out for us. Again when we moved back in 2013, there was enough in our price range to view a number in the space of a couple of days. Fast forward a couple of years and the situation couldn’t be more different.IMG_0624Within an acceptable criteria for a family of four there are a handful of places available and confusingly the same ones appear on many websites with slightly different images and descriptions to give unfounded hope. Many seem to be reserved as soon as they are listed, others I have heard are snapped up by companies for their expat employees and never reach the rental websites. I went along an open house on Sunday afternoon for a four room rental in Østerbro and the scene above greeted me and by the time the agent arrived there were over twenty groups of people viewing the apartment. He predicted it would be reserved within twenty-four hours. Very easy commission for him and very down heartening for those seeking a rental place.

There is no wonder that in my recent survey one of the biggest issues for people relocating here was finding a suitable place to live. At the time I had no current first hand experience of this but now I can understand why this was such an issue. I can also see why areas previously not on the renters’ radar such as Valby and Sydhavnen are becoming attractive to young families who find there is no space left for them in Vesterbro and Frederiksberg. Or being more of a pioneer in the developing areas such as Ørestad and Nordhavn. There is a huge boom in property development across the city, signified by the vast number of cranes cluttering the skyline and other areas will become more viable when the new Metro ring opens in five years time. But this will ease the issue in the future not now.

I can imagine that many people make significant compromises to finally get a rental home, I know we did in Berlin where the situation is even tougher. I am sure there are many factors involved in the changes over the last seven years, low interest rates being one, but right now I have my fingers crossed my friends find a place they are happy with soon.


One comment

  1. Hey Melanie,

    I found your blog via The Local and then read this post and remembered that we bumped into one another at the inspection. We’re the couple from Australia – not sure if you remember us.

    Either way, great blog and post about this issue of housing in Copenhagen. It really is disheartening but I hope your friend finds a place to call home soon :).

    – Rebecca

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