From Iceland — New Survey Reveals Icelanders' Five-Year Housing Plans

New Survey Reveals Icelanders’ Five-Year Housing Plans

Published March 22, 2024

Photo by
Art Bicnick/The Reykjavík Grapevine

Where to you see yourself in five years? If you’re of the same mind as 4% of Icelanders, you see yourself getting the hell out of Iceland.

The polling conducted by Prósent on Icelanders’ attitude to their living situations asked what kind of residence Icelanders envisioned for themselves in five years.

The vast majority of Icelanders living in rural communities see themselves staying put, though 5% envision themselves making the move to the big city. Around 87% of those already living in Reykjavík plan on staying in the city.

Of those who foresee a move abroad in their future, 12% are within the 18 to 24 age range, and 6% are in the 55 to 64 age range. The latter demographic is likely looking ahead to their retirement years, the pollsters indicated.

Size matters

As for what kind of housing respondents see themselves inhabiting, 46% of rural respondents plan on living in a detached home. Just 15% of Reykjavík residents expect the same housing arrangement.

All age groups anticipate living in a space of 100 to 149 square metres, except for those in the 18 to 24 age range, who expect their housing to be less than 80 m2. Let’s be honest, though, with the cost of housing what it is, young Icelanders will be lucky to afford a basic room in a shared flat.

Another interesting takeaway from the survey is that most Icelanders aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is. While half of all respondents said it matters to them that their housing is eco-friendly, few indicated they’d be willing to actually pay more for a greener home.

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