Stockholm housing queue could break world record

2:21 min

The Stockholm Housing Service may enter the Guinness World Records book after a Swedish Liberal Party MP nominated it for having the world's longest housing queue.

Robert Hannah, a member of parliament and the Liberal Party's housing policy spokesperson, told Radio Sweden that he nominated the Stockholm Housing Service “because there are over half a million people waiting to get an apartment in Stockholm”.

“It takes an average of 8.4 years to get an apartment here. By comparison, in cities like Oslo, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Brussels it takes one to two weeks," said Hannah.

The Liberal Party recently launched its new housing policy programme and Hannah believes Sweden needs "a more market-oriented approach" in order to resolve its housing shortage.

"The biggest issue is that not enough apartments are being built, especially rentals," said Hannah, adding: "We have regulations that have made it impossible to build close to the water in the central areas of the city. Every municipality in Sweden has its own rules for building houses… We have 290 different laws for building and that means it takes a lot of time for construction companies to actually build houses.”

According to Hannah, it takes an average of 10 years to build an apartment building in Sweden.

Hannah has not heard from the Stockholm Housing Service but suspects they are "not very happy" about being nominated for a Guinness World Record. He expects to find out in two to three weeks from now whether or not his nomination has made the cut.

"After that it will take about six months for them to look through the different housing queues around the world, but I think the Stockholm one will win,” Hannah asserted.

Highly regulated rental housing in Sweden tends to result in a black market for contracts. 

The Housing Service nomination follows hot on the heels of another Swedish record; just five weeks ago Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg entered the Guinness World Records book as the most popular YouTuber on Earth. The 25-year-old from Gothenburg has 39 million subscribers on the video-sharing platform.

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