Copenhagen: Double Summer Standards

Posted on July 25, 2006



by sabine behrmann

Since July is the month where most of Denmark is on holiday a closer look at Danish summer cottages may be in order.

They have been an important part of the Danish lifestyle for many years. First as a safe heaven for a very small group of affluent Copenhageners who wanted to escape the smelly summer air in the Danish capital. Later for people who felt that a primitive abode in a wood close to the sea was better than staying at home.

Now summer cottages cost a fortune, although many have been built over the last decade in order to serve as investment objects. With swimming pool and hot tub, a fireplace and a view, preferable towards the sea.

The market, it seemed, was insatiable. Because these stylish mansions could be rented out at a horrendous price to – mainly German – tourists. In Denmark summer cottages cannot be sold to people who live abroad.

But the Germans cannot afford theses high prices anymore, especially since what the Danes lovingly call the "Summer Country" is quite a boring affair. I mean: if your funds are low you will probably think more closely about getting your money’s worth.

And Danes? Well, many have decided to invest in a third home. Somewhere abroad. In Spain, or France, or at the coast of the Black Sea, where grounds still are affordable, the weather is more predictable, and the wine quite inexpensive. It’s more posh, anyway, unless your Danish summer home can be found in Skagen.

So now there are many summer cottages up for sale and the prices are finally on their way down.

Maybe the misery, people are already talking about, could be solved by letting Denmark open its borders to the Inner Market in such a way that the same rules apply for all EU-citizens. This might harmonize the prices a bit more.