Stockholm has a reputation as a tricky real estate market, kind of like Vancouver: low vacancy rates, high rents, fairly high density downtown with some spread out towards suburbs via transit systems. It is a desirable place to live, so there is lots of demand for the available housing stock. Zoning and building restrictions mean the parks, open spaces, and heritage buildings will maintain the city’s character and appeal, but also reduce the number of available units. So, we were pretty happy that KTH Relocation Services offered the first year of downtown Stockholm housing: they have furnished, subsidized modern apartments for faculty and research trainees arriving from abroad!
Our new apartment is a compact 45 sqm bedroom with in-suite laundry. It came with 2 beds, sofa, dining set, built-in closets, and equipped for cooking and eating.
One of the best things about the apartment is the location – out the front of the building is the city very close to downtown. Out the back door is a network of forested trails and national parkland (cool enough for its own post!)
Although the apartment was nominally furnished, that did not include textiles like sheets and towels, or hangers for the closets, or any clothing storage drawers, or desks since we now have 2 workers-at-home. Natually, this called for a trip to the IKEA at Kungens Kurva, a big box shopping centre south of the city (accessible by subway followed by a short walk or bus trip). We didn’t take any photos like we did at the last Swedish IKEA trip, but luckily we didn’t run into any problems with payment or delivery. The delivery was at least as much stuff but even cheaper than last time (only 199kr for all you can pile on a cart), and also delivered the same day. Big thanks to Saska-friends Nich and Duane who gave us a lovely goodbye present in the form of an IKEA gift card. It was so thoughtful; it took zero space in a suitcase, converted to Swedish kroner once we got here, and was immediately put to use to buy new sheets. Side note: IKEA sells 100% linen sheets now, a nice upgrade from our Canadian sheets. Nothing like towels and sheets to make a place feel like home!