A glazed balcony is the #1 wish among city dwellers

YIT CORPORATION Press release, January 15, 2020, at 7:00 a.m.

Parveke Merenkulkijanrannassa YIT
Parveke Merenkulkijanrannassa YIT

Two out of three (65%) Finns living in cities would like to have an apartment with a glazed balcony, even if it made the apartment more expensive. Meanwhile, 24% of city dwellers* would prefer a shared yard for the housing company and cheaper housing over having their own balcony.

These are results from the Sustainable Urban Environments 2019 barometer**, a survey of more than one thousand Finnish city dwellers conducted by YIT and Prior Konsultointi in autumn 2019. The barometer survey, conducted now for the second time, aims to reveal the types of urban environments people in Finland wish to see developed. The participating city dwellers express their views on themes such as home, urban environment, transport and retail.

Many people who live in apartment buildings and terraced houses also wish to have a sauna of their own, even if it takes up space in the apartment. As many as 49% of the respondents* said they wanted a sauna of their own. The statement “I would rather use the housing company’s shared sauna and allocate the space in my apartment for something else” was chosen by 38% of the respondents. The popularity of having a sauna of one’s own was lowest among those over 50 years of age.

“The cosy environment created by a glazed and especially furnished balcony brings a bit of luxury to your daily life. There are hardly any properties with no balconies in YIT’s housing portfolio. As for apartments with their own sauna, our experience is that there are substantial differences in opinion between areas and municipalities in that regard,” says Marko Oinas from YIT.

In the barometer survey’s questions concerning homes, the participating city dwellers also indicated whether they would prefer to live in a new apartment, an old but renovated apartment or an old apartment that is still in its original condition. Nearly half of the respondents (47%) chose a new apartment, while 37% chose an old but renovated apartment. Only 3% of the respondents said they would like to live in an old apartment in its original condition. New apartments were popular among families with children and respondents under the age of 35, while old but renovated apartments were particularly favoured by those over 64 years of age.

The surveyed city dwellers prioritise functionality over the sense of space. The statement “In my opinion, it is more important for my apartment to be functional and make good use of the available square metres” was chosen by as many as 64% of the respondents, while the statement “In my opinion, it is more important for my apartment to have lots of square metres and a sense of space” was chosen by 25% of those surveyed. These figures are largely unchanged from the previous year’s barometer (65% and 24%).

The appeal of services that make everyday life easier has also remained mostly unchanged compared to 2018: services were characterised as being appealing by about one third of the respondents (33%), especially among families with children, elderly respondents and those who live in densely populated areas. About one in three respondents (33%) also hoped that their building or housing company would provide better opportunities for urban farming.

“Smooth everyday life is increasingly important for consumers, and people are gradually starting to view services as something that facilitates it. In the future, we expect that issues related to living in accordance with the principles of sustainable development will become increasingly important to people. We can promote this trend through services,” says Pekka Helin from YIT.

Two out of five city dwellers* were strongly opposed to an increase in shared facilities (respondents whose answer to the question was “5”). In total, as many as 65% of the respondents agreed with the statement “I don’t want shared facilities that increase living costs” (by answering “5” or “4”). Conversely, 22% of the respondents agreed with the statement “I want the building I live in to have more versatile shared facilities that create a stronger sense of community” (by answering “1” or “2”). The interest in shared facilities was the highest among families with children.

*(N=853, people living in terraced houses and apartment buildings)

**Sustainable Urban Environments barometer 2019
The Sustainable Urban Environments barometer was carried out for the second time this year. The survey is targeted at the residents of eight cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä and Kuopio. The data was collected by an online panel administered by CINT Ab during September 16–27, 2019. There were 1,022 respondents. The sample is representative of the 18–75-year-old population of the participating cities in terms of respondents’ age, gender and the size of each city.

Further reading:
A clear majority of city dwellers in Finland are concerned about climate change (press release about the results of the barometer)
Sustainable Urban Environments barometer 2019 (infographics on the YIT website)
Finns used to want a sauna, now they want a balcony — changes in Finnish housing

For further information, please contact:
Pekka Helin, Vice President, Living Services, YIT Finland Ltd, tel. +358 40 588 8135, pekka.helin@yit.fi
Marko Oinas, Vice President, Strategy and Development, Housing Finland and CEE, YIT Finland Ltd, tel. +358 40 506 7430, marko.oinas@yit.fi
Johanna Savolainen, Communications Business Partner, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 44 305 4594, johanna.savolainen@yit.fi


YIT is the largest Finnish and significant North European construction company. We develop and build apartments and living services, business premises and entire areas. We are also specialised in demanding infrastructure construction and paving. Together with our customers, our nearly 10,000 professionals are creating more functional, attractive and sustainable cities and environments. We work in 11 countries: Finland, Russia, Scandinavia, Baltic Countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The new YIT was born when over 100-year-old YIT Corporation and Lemminkäinen Corporation merged on February 1, 2018. Our restated pro forma revenue for 2018 was approximately EUR 3.2 billion. YIT Corporation's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy. www.yitgroup.com