In Finland, over the past 2 years, all foreigners have received permission to buy real estate
According to the report of the Ministry of Defense of Finland, absolutely all foreign citizens received the right to purchase real estate in the country starting January 1, 2020, when the relevant law came into force. During this time, 1059 permits for the purchase of housing were issued to citizens of foreign countries, as well as organizations that have at least 10% of its property outside the EU.
Features of the current legislation
From January 1, 2020, all foreigners from third countries, including Russians, must obtain the right to conclude real estate transactions from the country’s Ministry of Defense before buying private houses in Finland. The same requirements are upheld for organizations and companies located in the EU zone that have at least 10% of their property outside the territory of the alliance.
Before, until 1993, every foreign citizen was required to obtain the right to purchase . Later, the licensing of transactions related only to border areas. The existing restrictions were lifted in 1999 when the country joined the EU. An active discussion about the need to introduce restrictions on the purchase of real estate by foreign citizens had been ongoing since 2018.
According to the report, since the present law came into force, 888 requests have been submitted from individuals, as well as another 171 from companies and organizations, for the purchase of real estate in the country. In most cases, applications were submitted by foreign citizens currently living in Finland, but holding Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, American, Swiss, British, and Indian citizenship. Many of them bought private houses and summer cottages in Suomi.
According to Anu Sallinen, a consultant to the country’s Ministry of Defense, the new law is extremely effective, despite the fact that foreigners can now buy more and more local real estate. The expert assesses the current situation as more convenient and better thought out.
Over the past 20 years, real estate transactions involving citizens from outside the EU had not been investigated in Finland at all, she said. Now, with the adoption of the new law, the Finnish authorities will have a complete picture of who exactly buys local housing, in which regions the properties for sale are located, and for what purpose they are bought by foreigners.