Survey: people living in cities value sustainable and energy-efficient apartments with functional space – balconies, yards and a peaceful area are also important

YIT Corporation Press Release 6 May 2024 at 9:00 a.m.

YIT Asunto Oy Kanavansilta
YIT Asunto Oy Kanavansilta

A survey* ordered by YIT showed that people who live in cities and have purchased a new home value functionality much more than the feeling of spaciousness. 67% of respondents preferred a functional apartment where the space has been put to good use. The view has not changed much over the years the reviews have been carried out. This also applied from an ecological perspective: apartments with efficient space that does not waste much heat were valued highly or very highly by 49% of respondents.

The need to preserve energy was especially evident in how the respondents viewed saunas, and the popularity of apartments featuring their own saunas was lower (39%) than in the previous year. Every other (47%) resident in apartment blocks prefers to use a communal sauna.

Many people living in owned-occupied housing consider geothermal heat or a combination of geothermal heat, district heat and/or air source heat pumps to be the best option. When asked about using low-carbon concrete and recycled steel to construct houses, 40% of respondents valued this very highly or very highly.

‘With careful planning and testing, we can minimise wasted space and add more room for important functions, which means there is just enough space: not too much or too little. Additionally, the energy efficiency of YIT Homes is above the level set in the continuously tightening regulations,’ says Pekka Helin, the Head of Customerships and Living Services at YIT.

Peace and nature are important when choosing a residential area

The four most important factors of residential areas remain the same. When the respondents were asked to say what they valued in their current residential area, four things were highlighted: shops and services were nearby (1); the area was safe and peaceful (2); the area was close to nature (3); and the area had good public transport and bicycle lanes (4). The popularity of safe and peaceful areas grew by 11 percentage points compared to last year. The appreciation for nearby nature grew by 8 percentage points.

According to the survey, one in every five (22%) people living in a city would like to have a less expensive apartment. The growth was 4 percentage points compared to 2022. Almost every fifth (18%) of the respondents would like to move to a more peaceful apartment.

‘People are increasingly more interested in changing to a more inexpensive option, and a peaceful area and close proximity to nature have become the most important criteria. With sustainable urban planning, nature is easily accessible, and we have taken the proximity of nature into account when selecting the plots. When there are green spaces near the home, it is easy to enjoy nature often. Additionally, YIT Homes are located near good traffic connections and services, making everyday life easier,’ adds Helin.

Balconies continue to be very popular

Glazed balconies were less popular than in 2021, but almost two thirds of the residents of apartment blocks still value glazed balconies. 64% of respondents would like their own apartment to have a glazed balcony even if it increases the price of the apartments, whereas in 2021, 73% of the respondents wanted a balcony of their own. 21% of respondents would prefer to use the shared yard of the housing cooperative or live in a more inexpensive apartment.

In particular, people under 36 and those living in Espoo and Vantaa were interested in homes featuring a separate study. About one in every five (18%) remote workers would be prepared to pay €20,000 or more for a separate study.

*The Sustainable Urban Environments survey is directed at the residents of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, and Kuopio in Finland. This year, the number of online respondents was 1,058 + 354 (a separate sample of office workers). The data represents the urban population of 18–80-year-old residents, divided by gender, age, and size of city. The survey was carried out between September and October 2023. YIT commissioned Prior Konsultointi to conduct the survey.

Read more:
Download the survey |
Sustainable housing |

Further information:
Pekka Helin, Head of Customerships and Living Services, YIT, tel. +358 40 588 8135,
YIT Group Communication, tel. +358 44 743 7536,

YIT is a leading development and construction company. Based on more than 110 years of experience, we develop and build sustainable living environments: functional homes, future-proof public and commercial buildings, and infrastructure to promote the green transition. The company employs around 4,300 professionals in eight countries, and our revenue in 2023 was EUR 2.2 billion. YIT Corporation’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

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