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Free-time Residences 2012

Varsinais-Suomi was the region with the highest number of free-time residences in 2012

Varsinais-Suomi was the region with the highest number of free-time residences, i.e. 49,000. Etelä-Savo and Pirkanmaa also had more than 45,000 free-time residences. The numbers of free-time residences were lowest in the regions of Central Ostrobothnia (3,800) and Åland (6,100).

Figure 1. Free-time residences by region 2012

Figure 1. Free-time residences by region 2012

The density of free-time residences in the municipality can also be described by comparing their number with that of permanently occupied dwellings. Then the municipalities richest in free-time residences were places that had a relatively low number of population and a high number of free-time residences. At the end of 2012, altogether 58 municipalities had more free-time residences than permanently occupied dwellings. Such municipalities were Parainen, Mäntyharju, Kemiönsaari and Pälkäne. As the number of permanent residents decreases, the number of free-time residences may become emphasised in ever more municipalities. From 2000 onwards, the number of municipalities with a majority of free-time residences has increased approximately by ten, when the situation is viewed with the present division of municipalities of 2013.

Figure 2. Municipalities with more free-time residences than occupied dwellings in 2012 (municipalities with the highest number of free-time residences)

Figure 2. Municipalities with more free-time residences than occupied dwellings in 2012 (municipalities with the highest number of free-time residences)

Stock of free-time residences grew fastest in the 1980s

There were 496,200 free-time residences in Finland at the end of 2012. The number increased by 3,500 from the previous year. The stock of free-time residences does not grow direct due to newbuilding because some free-time residences area converted into permanent dwellings or their active use is discontinued. The number of free-time residences grew fastest in the 1980s. In 1990, there were 368,000 free-time residences, which was 46 per cent more than in 1980. From 1970 to 1980, the increase was 75,600, or 43 per cent.

Figure 3. Number of free-time residences 1970–2012

Figure 3. Number of free-time residences 1970–2012

The pace of construction of free-time residences has been slowing down steadily since the early years of the 1990s. Whereas roughly 8,000 free-time residences were built every year in the early 1990s, in recent years the number has been half of this. Through the 1990s, the stock of free-time residences grew by around 20 per cent. This is clearly by less than in the 1970s and 1980s, when the stock increased by over 40 per cent per decade.

Under 4,000 new free-time residences completed per year

Over 4,000 new free-time residential buildings have been completed per year in the 2000s. In the 2010s the number of new free-time residential buildings has decreased under 4,000 per year. For example, 3,500 new free-time residential buildings were completed in 2012 (according to statistics of buildingstock).

During 2012, the highest numbers of new free-time residences were built in Lapland and Etelä-Savo. By municipality, the highest numbers of new free-time residences were built in Savonlinna, Kuusamo Kouvola och Kittilä: over 70 in the year in each. In absolute numbers, the construction of free-time residences decreased further.

Figure 4. Regions with highest numbers of new free-time residences built in 2012

Figure 4. Regions with highest numbers of new free-time residences built in 2012

Building of free-time residences liveliest in Lapland, Etelä-Savo and Varsinais-Suomi

In 2012 the building of free-time residences has been liveliest in Lapland and Etelä-Savo. In the 2000s, the highest numbers of free-time residential buildings have been completed in general in Lapland, Etelä-Savo and Varsinais-Suomi where their number has approximately 400 per year.

Since 1990 the stock of free-time residences has grown most in Etelä-Savo, where it has increased by 13,000. The stock has changed least in Central Ostrobothnia and Åland where the number of free-time residences has increased by over 1,000 since 1990.

Summer residence densest in Kustavi and Kaskinen

Free-time residences are densest in the municipality of Kustavi and Kaskinen with average 15–18 free-time residences per square kilometre of land. In six municipalities there are more than ten free-time residences per square kilometre. In the whole country there are, on the average, 1.6 free-time residences per square kilometre. Varsinais-Suomi, Uusimaa and Päijät-Häme have more than four free-time residences per square kilometre. In North and Central Ostrobothnia, and Kainuu and Lapland there is average less than one free-time residence per square kilometre. In proportion to the land area, Kauniainen, Savukoski, Utsjoki, Enontekiö and Sodankylä have the lowest number of free-time residences.

Avarage floor area of free-time residences 47 square metres

There are relatively large size differences between new and old free-time residences. The average floor area of the free-time residences built in 2000-2012 was 64 square metres. The median was 40 square metres. On the other hand, nearly one free-time residence in four had a floor area of 60 square metres or more.

Table 1. Free-time residences by floor area in 2012

Floor area, m2 Number of free-time residences                     %
Free-time  residences,  total 496 208 100,0
– 19 45 418 9,2
20 – 39 181 190 36,5
40 – 59 133 823 27,0
60 – 79 61 571 12,4
80 – 99 27 967 5,6
100 – 27 105 5,5
Unknown 19 134 3,9
Average floor space 47 ..
Median  floor space 40 ..

Almost 800 000 Finns belong to a household-dwelling unit with a free-time residence

Of all free-time residences, 421,000 were owned by private persons, while 75,000 were owned by companies, communities and deceased’s estates, or by foreigners. In all, almost 800,000 persons belonged to a household-dwelling unit which owns a free-time residence. Free-time residences are generally located near the place of permanent residence. Two-thirds of free-time residence owners had a free-time residence in their region of residence. One-third of free-time residence owners had a free-time residence in their municipality of domicile. Summer residents more than double the population of many municipalities.

Average age of a free-time residence owners is 62 years

The average age of owners of new free-time residences completed in 2012 was 54 years. The average age of all free-time residence owners was 62. Of all free-time residence owners, 21,000 or just six per cent were aged under 40. Over 40 per cent of all free-time residences were owned by a household-dwelling unit of two adults and only 14 per cent by households with children aged under 18.


Source: Buildings and Free-time Residences, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marja Hermiö 09 1734 3211, Arja Tiihonen 09 1734 3272, Elina Aspblad-Huohvanainen 09 1734 3232, asuminen@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 24.5.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Buildings and free-time residences [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-6796. 2012, Free-time Residences 2012 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.5.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rakke/2012/rakke_2012_2013-05-24_kat_001_en.html