Renters forced home to parents

19.11.2021 - 16:03
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Birgir Þór Harðarson - RÚV
Young people have fallen away from the rental market in Iceland during the pandemic. Some have bought homes, but many have moved back home. The provision of rental housing available has been getting smaller in recent months.

According to a survey for the housing and infrastructure agency, the overall number of renters has decreased in the past two years. Many have used lower interest rates during the pandemic to buy homes, while others have disappeared from the market altogether. 

Karlotta Halldórsdóttir, economist with the agency, says young people have come out worst: “It is the youngest group, aged 18 to 24. They have reduced in number on the rental market and are increasingly moving back in with parents.” 

Young people more likely to have lost jobs 

“Young people do a lot of shift work. They’re in the catering and tourism sectors. There, the number of jobs went down and that’s why people no longer had the money to be renting,” Karlotta believes.  

Despite this, the availability of rental housing seems to have dropped recently and rental prices increased.  

At the start of the pandemic, availability soared as Airbnb properties went up for rent as tourism collapsed. Since then, many have been sold entirely, while others have gone back to Airbnb. 

“Last year the availability of rental housing increased a lot. People found it easier to find homes and that brought greater security. Now, we are seeing for the first time since 2015 that it is getting harder to find housing. So, there are indications that the great provision that was is now dwindling,” Karlotta adds. 

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