Ideally situated in central Stockholm, Östermalm is not only one of the city’s most densely populated neighborhoods, but also one of its wealthiest.
“It’s the most fashionable, high-end area in Stockholm. It’s nice and quiet, in a nice location next to the water, and has a couple of beautiful parks,” said Elisabeth Hallberg, a broker and the manager at Per Jansson, a luxury real estate agency in Stockholm.
“There are huge apartments in beautiful buildings with historic architecture,” added Anders Elbe, a broker with Skeppsholmen Sotheby’s International Realty.
With its exquisite architectural heritage, easy accessibility to the amenities of both the neighborhood and the rest of Sweden’s capital city, and the elegant tranquility of a centuries-old aristocratic enclave, Östermalm commands some of the highest prices in the city and attracts elite buyers from within Sweden and from all over the world.
Östermalm is a one-square-mile district of central Stockholm, but it’s a mainly residential neighborhood that’s bordered by Oxenstiernsgatan to the east, Valhallavägen and Odengatan to the north, and Birger Jarlsgatan to the west. To the south, the bay of Djurgårdsbrunnsviken separates Östermalm from another of Stockholm’s particularly wealthy areas, Djurgärden.
For an average apartment, between two and four bedrooms, Ms. Hallberg said buyers should expect an average of 150,000 kroner per square meter (US$24,000), though 100,000-130,000 kroner per square meter (US$16,000-$21,000) can be found, as well.. More affordable homes range between 3 million and 10 million kroner (US$377,00 and US$1.3 million).
Mr. Elbe concurred, saying that buyers should expect to find three-, four-, or five-bedroom apartments on a top floor, with balconies overlooking a good street in a beautiful building, for anywhere between 125,000 and 175,000 kronor per square meter (approximately US$1,459-US$2,043 per square foot). At the high end of the market, grand, well-renovated apartments can sell for more than 200,000 kroner per square meter, (US$2,335 per square foot) according to Ms. Hallberg.
The neighborhood’s most high-end properties sell for 70-80 million kroner (US$8.8 million–US$10 million), and prices can even reach the 100 million-kroner mark (US$12.5 million).
What makes Östermalm especially desirable is that “the apartments there are older, more luxurious,” than in other parts of the city,“ Mr. Elbe said. Many were built as luxury apartments around the turn of the 20th century, Mr. Elbe said.
Many of the neighborhood’s elegant buildings were built when Stockholm underwent an extensive restructuring in the late 19th century, creating square blocks and grand esplanades lined with Art Nouveau, Neo-Baroque, and French Renaissance-inspired architecture. "Often, you find large apartments [in Östermalm] that are renovated to very high standards,” Ms. Hallberg noted.
What makes it unique?
Picturesque Belle Époque-era apartment buildings along beautiful, tree-lined streets are characteristic of Östermalm. Plus, “it’s quiet and you are very close to Humlegården, where you can enjoy running and walking. It’s a really, really beautiful park in the middle of Stockholm,” Mr. Elbe said.
Humlegården, a former royal garden built by Johan III in the 16th century, has been a public urban oasis since 1869. The National Library of Sweden sits right in the middle of the park.
Östermalm Stockholm / EyeEm / Getty Images
Östermalm is home to beautiful parks, including Humlegården and Gustav Adolfsparken, which has picturesque walking paths and a popular playground.
Nearby Bibliotekstan, named for its proximity to Humlegården and the National Library, is an exclusive, all-pedestrian district that offers upscale shopping, with brands like Gucci and Prada, as well as Swedish luxury brands, including Whyred, Hope, and Rodebjer.
Indoor marketplace Östermalms Saluhall, built in 1888 and currently undergoing extensive renovations, is a food-lover’s paradise, offering an array of restaurants and cafés in addition to a bevy of specialty purveyors.
Ms. Hallberg and Mr. Elbe both noted that more restaurants, cafés, and small shops are slowly starting to crop up in the quiet, residential Östermalm. Twenty years ago, residents would have to leave their neighborhood for fine dining and shopping, Ms. Hallberg said. Now, “people are able to go out, without leaving Östermalm, because it’s more and more lively—in a good way.”
Östermalm Stockholm / EyeEm / Getty Images
Mr. Elbe also noted Östermalm’s museums, including the Historiska Museet, dedicated to Swedish history, and the Armémuseum, dedicated to Swedish military history.
Sturebadet is a luxurious spa, offering Turkish baths and a range of other luxurious offerings; like so much of Östermalm, Sturebadet dates back to the 1880s.
There’s also the Royal Dramatic Theatre, known as the Dramaten, which was founded in 1788 and whose gorgeous art nouveau building in the Östermalm dates from 1908. Next year, the Dramaten will host the Ingmar Bergman International Theatre Festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the legendary director’s birth.
Östermalm offers excellent schools, including Futuraskolan International School of Stockholm, serving grades 1–9, and the Stockholm International School, which has students from preschool through grade 12 and offers an International Baccalaureate program. Several other excellent primary and secondary schools are located in the adjacent neighborhood, Norrmalm.
Who lives there
While the majority of luxury buyers in Stockholm are Swedes, Ms. Hallberg noted that roughly one in five of her clients hails from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe. One area immediately next to Östermalm is known as Diplomatstaden, where, as the name suggests, many embassies are located, including those of the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Belgium, among many others.
Unlike other countries in Scandinavia and the European Union, Sweden places no restrictions on foreigners buying property there.
Chart-topping DJ Avicii, director Roy Andersson, author and journalist Jan Guillou, and even Sweden’s Princess Madeleine and her husband, Christopher O'Neill, have all called Östermalm home, according to reports. The neighborhood has such cachet that Stieg Larsson even makes it the home of the fictional billionaire Wennerstrom in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
Prices surged between 2008 and 2015 thanks to low interest rates and a shortage of housing stock, but they’ve leveled off considerably in the last couple of years.
The market is “a bit slower than it used to be, but it’s still very strong,” Mr. Elbe said.
Mr. Elbe said a slowdown in activity is related to the dearth of new development in Östermalm.
Now, after a period of low interest rates and in anticipation of banks’ stricter mortgage lending rules, Ms. Hallberg doesn’t expect any large spikes in activity. With limited housing stock, “it’s very much a seller’s market,” she said, adding that she expects prices to stay high.
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: email@example.com