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Welcome to holiday paradise! If you have recently moved to Sweden, you are probably aware that full time employees are entitled to 25 days annual leave. Many employers offer even longer holidays and in addition to annual leave, there are public holidays, de facto holidays and “squeeze” days.

Your guide to Swedish holidays

This article is a guide to your Swedish holidays for 2018. As a newbie in Sweden,  it’s important to grasp that Swedes take holidays seriously and that you will be expected to do so too, both in terms of your own work/life balance and in terms of respecting your colleagues’ time off.  Don’t be afraid to discuss holidays; planning is both expected and appreciated.

Maximizing your holiday and work calendar

You need to get on top of the Swedish calendar to ensure that your work life runs smoothly and to make the most of your time off. Scheduling important meetings during holiday periods will not be appreciated by your colleagues, customers or suppliers so it’s strongly recommended to plan your work calendar to avoid clashes. The same is true for organizing events. When it comes to holidays,  early bookings are strongly recommended as Swedes like to plan ahead. Skiing holidays, for example, are often booked at least 6 months in advance, leaving very slim pickings for late comers. It’s also normal to take at least 3 consecutive weeks for summer holiday. July is peak holiday time in Sweden, when most organisations run on a skeleton staff or close completely. The standard summer holiday period is from Midsummer’s Eve (22nd June) to mid-August.

A great year for Christmas holidays

Christmas falls really well this year from a holiday point of view. By requesting 2 days leave on Thursday and Friday December 27th and 28th you can have 11 consecutive days holiday. This will be a very popular break so make sure to get your request for annual leave in early.

3 holiday terms you should know

  • Red days
  • De facto days
  • Squeeze days

What are red days?

Red days are the literal translation from Swedish of “röda dagar”, the name given to Swedish public holidays as they are usually marked in red in calendars.

What are de facto holidays?

De Facto holidays are holidays that are not official holidays but are commonly treated as such by employers. Most employees working regular office hours do not work these days. De facto half holidays often mean that you have the afternoon off, but this varies depending on the employer. Many employees who have half days off have a slightly longer work week during the rest of the year to compensate for the time off and/or to combine with a whole day off.

What are squeeze days?

Squeeze days (the literal translation from Swedish of “klämdagar”) are days that fall between a public holiday and the weekend, which Swedes usually take off. The most common squeeze days in Sweden is probably the Friday after Ascension Thursday i.e. Friday 11th May 2018, which nearly everyone takes off. Some workplaces work squeeze days into their official holidays whilst others need to take this as a day’s leave.

Week numbers – another Swedish concept you need to know

Swedes often use the concept of week numbers when referring to dates and planning meetings, which can be confusing. E.g. “How does week 24 look for you?” Here is an overview of Swedish week numbers in 2018. If you would like to quickly check what week number it is, see vecka.nu, which has the sole function of boldly displaying the current week number. It’s also common, for example, to hear that someone has less flexibility for meetings on odd, or alternatively, even number weeks as this is when it is their turn to pick up kids from daycare or school.

Public holidays in Sweden 2018

January
1 Jan (Monday)  New Year’s Day (Swedish: Nyårsdagen).
Note: 5 Jan (Friday) Twelfth Night (Swedish: Trettondagsafton). A de facto half-day. Check with your employer if you have this half day off.
6 Jan (Saturday) Epiphany (Swedish: Trettondedag jul).
March
30 Mar (Friday) Good Friday (Swedish: Långfredagen).
April
2 April (Monday) Easter Monday (Swedish: Annandag påsk).
Note: 30 April (Monday) is Walpurgis Eve (Swedish: Valborgsmässoafton). A de facto half-day. Check with your employer if you have this half day off.
May
1 May (Tuesday) May Day (Swedish: Första maj).
10 May (Thursday) Ascension Day (Swedish: Kristi himmelsfärdsdag).
20 May (Sunday) Pentecost Sunday/Whit Sunday (Swedish: Pingstdagen).
June
6  June (Wednesday) Swedish National Day (Swedish: Sveriges nationaldag).
Note: 22 June (Friday) Midsummer’s Eve (Swedish: Midsommarsafton).  A de facto holiday. Check with your employer if you have this day off. Most people do and you may even have a half-day on the Thursday.
23 June (Saturday) Midsummer’s Day (Swedish: Midsommar).
November
Note: 2 Nov (Friday) All Saints’ Eve (Swedish: Alla helgons afton). A de facto half-day. Check with your employer if you have a half day.
3 Nov (Saturday) All Saints’ Day (Swedish: Alla helgons dag).
December
Note: 24  Dec (Monday) Christmas Eve (Swedish: Julafton). A de facto holiday. Check with your employer if you have this day off. Most people do.
25 Dec (Tuesday) Christmas Day (Swedish: Juldagen).
26 Dec (Wednesday) Boxing Day (Swedish: Annandag jul).
Note:  31 Dec (Monday) New Year’s Eve (Swedish: Nyårsafton).  A de facto holiday. Check with your employer if you have this day off. Most people do.

Working on public holidays

If you have to work on a public holiday (e.g. shift work), you are likely to get extra pay for working on this day or to get time off in lieu. Check with your employer about your organisation’s approach to these days.

Swedish school holidays 2018

The following dates are for public schools in Stockholm. (Note: School holidays can vary by school and by region, especially for the sports break, so always check with your child’s school)

  • Spring terms starts 8 Jan
  • Sports break : 26 Feb – 2 March
  • Easter break : 3-6 April (Note: 2 April is a public holiday)
  • Summer holidays: 8 June (last day of term)
  • Autumn term: 20 Aug (first day of term)
  • Autumn mid-term break: 29 Oct – 2 Nov
  • Christmas holidays: 20 Dec last day of term (Spring terms starts 9 Jan)

We hope you have a great 2018 and that you enjoy every minute of your holidays!

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden and for private relocation. We help with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com

The post Your guide to maximizing Swedish holidays 2018 appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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Feeling a little frazzled in the pre-Christmas rush? Take heart…it happens to the best of us. Spare a thought for Santa this Christmas. It’s been a tough year for him in Sweden and worldwide.

2017 was a challenging year for Santa

• The cancellation of the Santa-world-cup in Swedish Lapland was a serious PR blow
• Global warming and lack of snow has made classic Christmas conditions unattainable in many parts of the country
• #Fakenews has made children less willing to believe. Even Santa’s credibility is challenged

A listing on Forbes Fictional Fifteen could mark a turning point

It remains to be seen if Santa will make the next Forbes Fictional Fifteen, the list compiled as a complement to Forbes annual list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Santa has failed to make the top 15 in recent years, squeezed out by the likes of Richie Rich, Montgomery Burns and Scrooge McDuck – mining magnate and uncle of Donald Duck – who currently occupies the top spot with an estimated net worth of $65bn. A return to the top list might just help to turn things around for Santa.

New in Sweden and wondering how Swedish Santa operates?

It’s worth noting that things work a little differently in Sweden. Here are some “Santa essentials” for anyone experiencing Swedish Christmas for the first time:

1. Santa does not slide down chimneys or magically deliver presents.
2. He arrives in person on December 24th (the Day Christmas is celebrated in Sweden) for a personal handover of presents, usually during the late afternoon or early evening.
3. Santa is called “Tomte” in Swedish.

Interested in experiencing Swedish “Tomte”?

Sweden is a wonderful place to celebrate Christmas with an abundance of traditions, starting with the first Sunday of advent through to 12th Night (“trettondagsafton” in Swedish). This short clip from the film Fanny & Alexander provides a good visual of a classic Swedish Christmas celebration. If you are new in Sweden and would like the Tomte experience but don’t have anyone to step into the role, professional help is available. Taxi Stockholm have offered a Santa Claus door service called Taxitomten since 2004 which allows Stockholmers to book a Father Christmas to visit their families and drop off their Christmas gifts direct to their homes. You can also find a wide range of other professional Santas in Sweden by googling “hyra tomte”.

Challenged by relocation planning?

Relocating staff or yourself to Sweden and need some help? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@relocatetosweden.com or check out our services at www.relocatetosweden.com.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden and for private relocation. We help with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com

The post Even Santa has setbacks appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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A guide to the most expensive addresses in Stockholm

Considering buying or renting in Sweden’s capital and want to make a splash? Here is a guide to the most expensive addresses in Stockholm based on the latest sale prices from Swedish Brokerage Statistics and Fastighetsbyrån, one of Sweden’s leading estate agents.

Östermalm is the most expensive area in central Stockholm

The ten dearest addresses in Stockholm cost from 113 387 up to 122 869 SEK per square metre. Nine out of ten of these streets are located in the Östermalm area of Stockholm (East central Stockholm) whilst one is in Vasastan (West central Stockholm).  Östermalm has always been known as the wealthiest part of Stockholm so it’s not surprising that the most expensive streets are almost exclusively in this area.

Streets with the highest average price per square metre

1. Floragatan Stockholm, Östermalm: 122 869 SEK
2. Stureparken Stockholm, Östermalm: 117 601 SEK
3. Asrikegatan Stockholm, Östermalm: 116 878 SEK
4. Strandvägen Stockholm, Östermalm: 115 256 SEK
5. StorgatanStockholm, Östermalm: 114 798 SEK
6. GrevturegatanStockholm, Östermalm: 114 420
7. Kaptensgatan Stockholm, Östermalm: 114 284 SEK
8. EastmansvägenStockholm, Vasastan: 113 819 SEK
9. Breitenfeldsgatan Stockholm, Östermalm: 113 726 SEK
10. Nybrogatan Stockholm, Östermalm: 113 387 SEK

Bromma tops the charts for sale prices in Stockholm

When it comes to the most expensive ten addresses in terms of average sale price, Bromma tops the charts for Stockholm’s most expensive streets with a total of five entries. An idyllic suburb west of central Stockholm consisting mainly of houses, Bromma offers close access to the city centre as well as great public transport. It’s also located beside lake Mälaren and encompasses many attractive green areas. Strandvägen in Östermalm (pictured above), traditionally seen as “the address” in Stockholm, is surpassed by Thaliavägen in Bromma for the position of “most expensive” by a comfortable margin of over 1 million SEK. Täby and Danderyd, two suburban areas north of the city centre and Lidingö, an island east of Stockholm centre, are also included in the top ten list.

Streets with the highest average sale price

1. Thaliavägen Stockholm, Bromma: 16 031 000 SEK
2. Strandvägen Stockholm, Östermalm: 14 850 000 SEK
3. Höglandsvägen Stockholm, Täby: 14 260 000 SEK
4. Mårdvägen Stockholm, Bromma: 14 080 000 SEK
5. Nysätravägen Stockholm, Lidingö: 13 510 000 SEK
6. Igelkottsvägen Stockholm, Bromma: 12 316 667 SEK
7. Roslinvägen Stockholm, Bromma: 12 080 000 SEK
8. Nyängsvägen Stockholm, Bromma: 11 945 000 SEK
9. Stureparken Stockholm, Östermalm: 11 831 250 SEK
10. Norevägen Stockholm, Danderyd: 11 604 545 SEK

Need more information?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more detailed information about house or apartment prices for any specific area in Sweden. You may also be interested in availing of our home finding services or property consultation service.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden and for private relocation. We help  with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com 

The post Looking for an address to impress in Stockholm? appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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Have you moved to Sweden recently or are you planning to do so? Perhaps you’ve been here for some time and are struggling with the language; The honeymoon period is over and you’ve realised that English will only get you so far, either on a career front or privately. Maybe you’ve been in Sweden for many years but have just never got beyond the basics.

Expert tuition from professional language teachers

We can help you to achieve your personal goals by providing tailored Swedish tuition

• Learn Swedish at your own pace
• Arrange lessons to suit your schedule
• Tuition at the location of your choice
• Learn the specialised vocabulary you need for your profession
• Individual tuition or small groups
• Swedish lessons via Skype also available

Combine Swedish lessons with intercultural training

Language, communication and culture and intrinsically linked. Creating awareness of your own cultural style of communication and how to adapt to get the response you want from Swedes, both in and outside of work, is our speciality. Learning to interpret how Swedes respond, in Swedish and/or English, is as vital for your communication skills as mastering Swedish vocabulary and grammar. We provide teachers who are experts in both language and intercultural training.

Private tuition or language training for your staff

We can source the best teacher for your needs from our network of professional teachers who are experienced in both corporate training and private tuition.

Contact us for a quote

Call us on  Tel +46 8 361011 or email us at info@relocatetosweden.com for more information and a quote. We look forward to helping you to achieve your goals.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com

The post Need a Swedish teacher? appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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Wondering about relocating to Sweden or perhaps you’ve already moved and are considering taking your first step on the Swedish property market? This article gives you all the latest figures on Swedish house prices and shows how much prices vary between different Stockholm neighbourhoods and how Stockholm prices compare with the rest of the country.

Stockholm house prices by municipality

Source: Svensk Mäklarstatistik. Figures published 13 October 2017
Note: Municipalities with low house sales volumes are devoid of price change info

Map of Stockholm municipalities

The map below shows the municipalities included in the Greater Stockholm Area (Stockholms Län), as detailed in the price tables above.  This encompasses not just close lying suburbs such as Solna, Lidingö and Danderyd but also areas over an hours drive from Stockholm city centre.

What are the cheapest and most expensive areas to buy a house in Stockholm?

The top three most expensive municipalities are Lidingö, Solna and Danderyd. Norrtälje is the municipality with the lowest house prices in the Greater Stockholm Area followed by Nykvarn and Södertälje respectively. Generally speaking, the further out you go from the city centre, the more you will get for your money. Proximity to water also carries a premium, which explains the high prices on the suburban island of Lidingö. Österåker currently leads the field for the highest price increase over a 12 month period with an increase of 15%. Upplands Väsby was the only area with a negative price development of -1.9%.

What is the average price of a house in Sweden?

The national average  price of a house in Sweden is currently 3 034 000 SEK or 24 908 SEK per metre squared. Based on these latest figures, the average price of a house in the Greater Stockholm Area at 5 621 000 SEK is 46% more expensive than the national Swedish average and considerably higher than prices in both the Greater Gothenburg Area and the Greater Malmö Area.

How do Stockholm house prices compare with other major Swedish cities? 

Source: Svensk Mäklarstatistik. Figures published 13 October 2017

Need more information?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more detailed information about house or apartment prices for any specific area in Sweden. You may also be interested in availing of our home finding services or property consultation service. You can read more about our consultation service in our article New in Sweden and interested in getting a mortgage?

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to ensure that you get access to all our upcoming articles on the Swedish property market and a host of  other advice about living in Sweden.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com 

The post What is the average house price in Stockholm & Sweden? appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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If you’ve a sweeth tooth, you’ve come to the right country. To “fika” (pronounced fee-kah) is one of the first words you will learn in Sweden. It means “to have coffee & cake”, and is one of Swedes’ favourite activities. There’s even an official fika calendar.

Missed or missing cinnamon bun day yesterday?

No worries; there are plenty of other Swedish cake days to look forward to and  celebrate. Here’s a list of the most important dates to mark and enjoy as an important part of your Swedish experience.

1. Semla Day (Shrove Tuesday, Feb 13th 2018)

This wheat bun flavoured with cardamom and packed with whipped cream and almond paste is traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday, which is known as Fettisdagen or Fat Tuesday in Sweden.

2. Waffle Day (25th March)

Even waffles have their own official day in Sweden, called Våffeldagen. Waffles and pancakes are also really popular in Sweden and a standard option on any children’s menu in restaurants.

3. Cinnamon Bun Day (4th October)

The cinnamon bun (kanelbulle) is the probably the most popular sweet treat in Sweden. There is never a wrong time to eat cinnamon buns and these beloved baked goods even have their own annual day – Kanelbullens dag, celebrated on October 4th each year. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long if you missed it yesterday, as cinnamon buns are always readily available everywhere in Sweden.

4. King Gustav II Adolf Day (6th November)

Creamy sponge cakes decorated with marzipan or chocolates silhouettes of King Gustav II Adolf are eaten in memory of this Swedish monarch on November 6th. He was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632.

5. Kladdkakans Day (7th November)

Kladdkaka, a Swedish classic, is a gooey/messy chocolate cake also commonly known as “chocolate mud cake”. This dense sticky chocolate cake is similar to a brownie and has a soft and gooey centre. Delicious served with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Too long to wait?

No problem; there are also regular fixtures in the Swedish cake calendar.

1. Regular Fika (Any time, any place, anywhere)

Any time is a good time for fika in Sweden – morning, afternoon or evening, both week days and at weekends. It is a tradition observed frequently, preferably several times a day. Fika can encompass anything from sandwiches to cream cake.

2. Pancake Day (Every Thursday)

No, we don’t mean Shrove Tuesday again, the date many people also call Pancake Day.  Every Thursday is Pancake Day in Sweden, where pea soup followed by pancakes served with jam and whipped cream is a standard Thursday lunch.

Enjoy!!!

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com or follow us on social media for tips and advice.

The post 5 Essential dates for your Swedish fika calendar appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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The internet is flooded with the news of IKEA’s purchase of startup TaskRabbit, an on-demand platform for hiring people to do everything from build furniture to stand in line for you at the Apple Store.  With IKEA’s backing it’s bound to become a new household name.

Great news for anyone who hates assembling IKEA furniture. Also music to the ears of anyone who loves the convenience of hiring someone local to simply come to your home and help you with things you either can’t or don’t want to do yourself.

How did Sweden ever get by before TaskRabbit and what are your current options?

If you’ve recently moved to Sweden, you’re probably short of contacts for plumbers, electricians and other essential services, which can be a real headache when the need or a real emergency arises. Worse still, your neighbours might seem to do everything themselves.

A nation of DIY experts

Sweden has a proud history of DIY, not least because of the enormous success of IKEA and self-assembly. A combination of tradition, practical training in schools and high taxes on services has ensured a high level of competence and confidence when it comes to DIY.  Most Swedish homeowners wouldn’t think twice about carrying out minor repairs or renovations and many are happy to attempt much larger projects. Long annual holidays and a high level of ownership of country cottages, often in isolated areas, have also been important factors in encouraging and sustaining DIY skill levels.

ROT and RUT changed everything in Sweden

The relatively recent introduction of tax breaks for household services, maintenance and improvements (ROT and RUT deductions) has had a big impact on Swedish homeowner’s dedication and commitment to DIY. These new tax deduction opportunities have coincided happily with a period of sustained strong economic growth in Sweden and huge increases in property values, making homeowners feel wealthier and more willing to outsource services. Having help to clean your home for example, has become normal and acceptable over the last 10 years in a way that would have been unthinkable before, not least because of Sweden’s socialist traditions.

An explosion of service providers

This tax development also led to the creation of a multitude of service providers offering everything from household services to help with homework, leaving many Swedes wondering how they ever coped before. The impact of global giant IKEA getting behind a service company like TaskRabbit is also likely to have a huge impact on attitudes to DIY. TaskRabbit may become as synonymous with household tasks as Uber has become with taxis. Swedes’ innate ability to assemble furniture may even be lost from their DNA forever!

Current options for outsourcing household services and skilled craftspeople in Sweden

There are a number of platforms for hiring people in Sweden. Here are three of them.

1. Offerta.se

This site helps you to find a service company who can help you in your home or at work. You write a description of your needs and get up to 6 quotes from which you choose one. Tasks profiled on the site include cleaning, moving services & transport, building & renovation, gardening, building maintenance, architects and interior design, financial and legal assistance, web/IT and design.

2. Task Runner

TaskRunner offers a network of individuals who can provide help on demand and a quote for the work you need done. You choose who you want to hire. Tasks profiled on their website include assembling IKEA furniture, gardening, help with moving, transports to the dump/recycling stations, handymen/craftsmen.

3. Veterankraft

This company enables you to hire a pensioner for the work you need done and has over 30 offices in Sweden. Tasks profiled include gardening, cleaning, painting, handymen/craftsmen, care of the elderly, and last but not least, hiring an extra grandparent.

Need help?

Unfortunately Swedish is required to use the above sites and may be needed to have satisfactory communication with the service provider. If you need help using these sites, information on tax deductions for household services or even better, a good old fashioned recommendation for help from someone tried and trusted, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation or to arrange project management. We provide a full range of support services for newcomers to Sweden.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com or follow us on social media for tips and advice.

The post How to find home help or skilled craftspeople in Sweden appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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You’ve got a great new job in Sweden, cracked open the champagne and called your mum. Next on the list is to update your Facebook & Instagram status and check out the latest fashions in snow wear. Right?

Wrong. What really needs to happen next is some serious planning, both by you and by your HR department.

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan

Never was this saying more true than in the case of relocation. Moving to a new country can be a very daunting experience, even for the well-travelled, and Sweden is certainly no exception. Planning is an absolute requirement for success.

Relocation is one of the most stressful things a human can experience after death and divorce

A failed relocation is very costly for both you and your company. Anyone working in HR knows the true cost of hiring an employee as well as the enormous cost of a failed hire. Add in the financial expense of relocating you (and your family) to another country and failure really starts to cost.  And that’s not to mention the personal costs, which can include low self-esteem, family problems and depression, all of which inevitably also cost employers in the form of decreased productivity.

Three planning priorities for a successful relocation to Sweden

Every country presents its own unique relocation challenges. Three key challenges await anyone moving to Sweden with work. Unfortunately many new hires and HR departments underestimate these challenges and fail to plan for them, with often very painful consequences.

1. Immigration
Getting a work permit for Sweden can take a lot longer than you might expect. (Work permits are required by citizens of most non-EU countries). Once you have successfully acquired a work permit, the second challenge is ensuring that all the conditions are strictly adhered to. Non-compliance on any terms by you or your HR department  will lead to automatic disqualification when it’s time to get your work permit renewed, whatever the reason for the oversight and regardless of how much you and your employer want you to stay on in Sweden.

2. Accommodation
Sweden has one of the toughest rental markets in the world. Simply stated, you will need good contacts and/or deep pockets to find a new home in Stockholm or any other Swedish city. Focusing on work is difficult when you don’t have the basics in place. For more detailed information about finding suitable accommodation, average rental prices and the latest property prices, see our blog.

3. Culture Shock
Culture shock is very common and often unanticipated by expats in Sweden. Even more surprisingly, it often hits hardest among expats from other western countries. This is because those moving from outwardly very different cultures tend to be better mentally prepared for significant differences. 70% of relocations fail due to accompanying families not being happy in their new environment, even if all is going well at work. Preparation and coping strategies are therefore vital.

Planning and support are key

Planning and support make a huge difference to the chances of a successful relocation for you and your company. Getting off to a great start has an enormous impact on acclimatization and productivity.  Expert help is available to speed up immigration processes, to quickly find suitable accommodation and to help you and your family to get settled in Sweden. Contact us at Relocate to Sweden to find out how our relocation services can help you and your employer.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com or follow us on social media for tips and advice

The post The painful mistake made by 90% of new hires to Sweden appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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Recently moved to Sweden and considering buying property? Faced with one of the world’s most challenging rental markets, it’s not surprising that anyone with resources quickly considers buying a home instead of renting. Low interest rates and soaring property prices in Sweden make buying seems like an attractive option to many. But how much money will you need and how much will Swedish banks lend you?

How much money will you need?

The bad news is that you will need deep pockets to buy a home in any Swedish city. Here are the latest property prices for Stockholm which cover the period May – July 2017. (Source: Svensk Mäklarstatistik)

Apartment prices in Stockholm: The average price for an apartment in the greater Stockholm area is currently 3 641 000 SEK or 58 630 SEK per square metre whilst in central Stockholm the average price is 5 542 000 SEK or a whopping 93 681 SEK per square metre.

Houses prices in Stockholm: The average house in Stockholm now costs 5 763 000 SEK  or 46 471 SEK per square metre. You can find more detailed information about Swedish property prices on our blog.

How much will Swedish banks lend you?

All loan and mortgage applications are considered individually but in this article we share the guidelines Swedish banks use to calculate the amount you can borrow to buy a home. As a newcomer to Sweden you will also need to be registered in Sweden to be eligible for a mortgage and most banks will want proof of your credit history and any assets or loans abroad.

What are the lending requirements?

Lending requirements in Sweden are regulated partly through legislation and partly determined by the banks themselves. In addition to the standard requirement of proof of a steady income from secure employment, Swedish banks use the following calculations to determine how much they will lend you.

1. “Left to live on” calculation
Banks calculate how much you will have left to live on once your mortgage and other costs are paid. The standard requirement for a family of 4 (two adults and two children), for example, is 23 000 SEK per month. Different banks vary in their assessments of what the minimum amount should be, which is one of the reasons that one bank might approve a loan while another rejects the same loan application.
2. Mortgage ceiling
Following the recent introduction of tighter controls, banks cannot approve mortgages exceeding 85% of the purchase price. In certain cases it may be possible to get an additional unsecured loan but a higher rate of interest would be charged and this loan would have to be repaid within a much shorter period.
3. Amortization requirements
New loans have to be repaid at the rate of 2 per cent per year until the loan is reduced to 70% of the property’s value and subsequently at 1% per year until the loan is reduced to 50%.
4. Loan to income ratios
A maximum mortgage of 5 times your pre-tax annual income is standard.

New stricter lending rules to help cool a red-hot property market

Fears of a property bubble caused by 20 years of rising prices in Sweden and the popularity of interest only mortgages have led to a recent tightening of controls on lending.

A new proposal has also been put forward by Finansinspektionen, Sweden’s financial supervisory authority, to raise the amortization requirements by next year. The Swedish government will have the final say on this matter. If the requirements are raised next year, it will be more difficult to get bank approval for a loan.

Property buying consultation

There is a lot to consider when making the decision to purchase a property in Sweden, particularly if you are uncertain about your long term plans. Relocate to Sweden offers home buying consultation to newcomers to Sweden to advise you exactly what is involved in buying and selling property in Sweden and to help you avoid very expensive mistakes. Our property consulting services includes advice on the following areas.

  • Mortgage regulations and proposed changes
  • Current property tax and tax relief on interest
  • Regulations on subletting property
  • Capital gains tax on sold property
  • Average property prices and price development for any area of Sweden
  • How the buying and selling process works in Sweden and costs involved
  • Location advice to match your individual needs
  • Insight on up-and-coming areas and which areas to avoid
  • Which areas in Sweden have the lowest taxes?
  • What happens if you lose your job?
  • What happens if you leave Sweden?

Homefinding services

We can also help you to find your dream home by doing the research to find properties in locations that match your needs. We accompany you to property viewings to provide extra insight and assist you through the entire purchasing process.

Contact or follow us for more information

If you are considering buying property in Sweden, please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a property buying consultation or to avail of our homefinding services. You can also follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook for updates on property prices and other relocation tips and advice.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com or follow us on social media for tips and advice

The post New in Sweden and interested in getting a mortgage? appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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Are you moving to Sweden and interested in learning about the requirements for pet transport and importation?

Preparation is key

Bringing your dog, cat and other pets to Sweden is possible but made a lot easier with adequate preparation. Here’s an overview of the most important information you need.

Two key websites

When entering Sweden from another country you must report your pet to Swedish Customs. See the Swedish Customs’ website for details. You can also report your cat or dog online on their website. Full information on regulations concerning the import of pet dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, horses, rabbits, rodents & amphibians is available at Jordbruksverket, the Swedish Board of Agriculture.  Dogs, cats and ferrets, for example, all need passports. They also need to a have microchip for identification purposes. Details on Swedish border inspection posts for pets are also available on this website.

A sweet life in Sweden

Sweden is a great place to be a pet as strong animal rights legislation exists. Animals are generally very well looked after and pets are usually valued family members. Many newbies to Sweden are surprised by the level of attention given to dogs in particular. Dogs often attend day care while their owners are at work or sometimes even accompany them to the office for the day. This is due to Swedish regulations about how long dogs may be left on their own. The fact that dog day care in Sweden is more expensive than child day care comes as even more astonishing news to most.

Unwelcome tenants

Despite the popularity of pets, it’s usually very difficult to find rental accommodation which accepts them. Stockholm has one of the world’s most challenging rental markets and mentioning a cat or dog is guaranteed to take you straight off most landlords’ prospective tenants lists. This is partly due to concern about the potential wear and tear caused by animals but also due to the high incidence of animal allergies amongst Swedes.

Need help with relocation?

If you need assistance with relocating your pet to Sweden or finding a new home which welcomes all of your family members, please do not hesitate to contact us at Relocate to Sweden.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, translations, language and intercultural training. Email us at info@relocatetosweden.com or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at www.relocatetosweden.com or follow us on social media for tips and advice

The post Relocating your pet to Sweden? appeared first on Relocate To Sweden.

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