Hundreds of Apartments Vacant in Iceland’s Capital Skip to content

Hundreds of Apartments Vacant in Iceland’s Capital

The Association of Carpenters announced last week that a total of 818 apartments are vacant in the capital region. However, according to earlier estimates, as many as 3,000 apartments are vacant in the region.

An unfinished building in Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“We went through it and we have completely different numbers. Almost 400 apartments have been completed and 450 are weather-tight,” Baldur Thór Baldvinsson, chairman of the association, told RÚV. “It is absolutely ridiculous that 3,000 apartments are vacant.”

The reason why there is such difference between the two calculations is that the carpenters’ association doesn’t count housing foundations, only apartments that have been fully constructed or are at least weather-tight, that is, completed on the outside.

“It doesn’t make any sense to count foundations and plinths for apartment complexes,” Baldvinsson said. “Even if we start tomorrow it will take one and a half years before people can move into the apartments.”

The capital’s half-constructed “ghost” districts are a fact but Baldvinsson warns against painting the situation darker than it is.

“Smaller apartments are needed, that is clear. We know that we need around 1,300 apartments here annually. There will be some delay but I am optimistic. I believe that after spring next year things will start rolling again,” Baldvinsson said.

Click here to read more about half-finished city districts.

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