Buying real estate now requires permission for buyers outside the EU and EEA

Buyers from outside the EU and EEA need permission from the Ministry of Defence to buy property in Finland. The permission must be applied for before or within two months after the real estate transaction is finalised. New legislation intended to ensure national security entered into force at the start of the year. The new legislation also includes an act regulating real estate transactions in Finland.

“The title for real estate purchased by buyers outside the EU and EEA will be registered when the Ministry of Defence grants the required permission for the transaction. Until that, the title registration will be left pending”, says land registration manager Sanna Ranta.

Since the start of the year, the Ministry of Defence has granted permission to 11 transactions where the buyer comes from outside the EU and EEA. If the buyer’s spouse is an EU or EEA citizen, no permission is required for the transaction.

“Foreign citizens are a rather marginal buyer group for the real estate market. Last year, over 64,000 real estate transfers were made, and only in around 1,300 transactions was the buyer a foreign private individual. The majority of foreign buyers in 2019 came from Estonia, Russia or Sweden”, says chief expert Esa Ärölä.

“The share of foreign buyers in housing transactions last year was 3.1%. Their share in holiday home transactions was 2.1% and 0.2% in agricultural and forestry real estate transactions”, says Ärölä.

The aim of the changes in legislation is to improve national security in real estate ownership and significant investments. The restrictions apply especially to areas that are significant for national defence or border control, with the exception of the Åland Islands. In these areas, the state has the right of pre-emption. Right of pre-emption refers to the state’s right to redeem sold real estate or a parcel or unseparated parcel of it.

Instructions and application forms

For instructions and application forms please visit Ministery of Defence website:

Further information

Land Registration Manager Sanna Ranta, sanna.ranta@maanmittauslaitos.fi

Chief Expert Esa Ärölä, esa.arola@maanmittauslaitos.fi

 

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