Rental housing

Demand for rental housing remained high in all communities where VVO has a presence. As in previous years, the strongest demand was directed at smaller apartments. Three out of four applicants were looking for a one-room or two-room apartment.

The financial occupancy rate of the properties remained high, standing at 98.5 (98.7) per cent for the financial year. At the end of the financial year, 228 (310) apartments were vacant due to renovations. Turnover decreased slightly on the previous year, to 25.4 (25.8) per cent. Internal exchanges are included in the figure.

Rents were increased in March 2013 by 3.4 (4.9) per cent on average. The total growth in rent revenue during the period was 4.8 (6.2) per cent. In addition to rent increases, the overall growth in profits was attributable to the growth in the housing stock and rent adjustments carried out in the Market product group in connection with new residents.

The all-year average rent for the entire housing stock was EUR 12.42 (11.89) per sq m per month and EUR 12.56 (12.04) at the end of the financial year. Average rent in apartments where rent can be freely determined, totalling 24,799 (23,665) (the Market product group), was EUR 12.68 (12.13) during the period and EUR 12.87 (12.21) at the end of the financial year. The corresponding figure for apartments leased for cost-price rental, totalling 15,395 (16,281) (the cost principle product group), was EUR 12.00 (11.54) and EUR 12.05 (11.76) at the end of the financial year.

The average period of tenancy remained high, at 5.9 (5.8) years. At the end of the financial year, there were 17,847 (20,865) active applications (applications are active for 3 months). The average number of active applications per rental agreement termination was 25.4 (27.3). The number of new rental housing applications received during the financial year was 71,372 (77,266). The decrease in the number of applications from the previous year was attributable to the decreased supply of vacated apartments due to declining turnover.

Despite the overall economic situation, the share of rent receivables of turnover remained at the previous level and was 1.2 (1.2) per cent at the end of the financial year. VVO was active in resident co-operation during the financial year. VVO's resident benefit system, among other things, was developed in co-operation with residents' representatives during the year. Residents’ opinions were polled through the annual customer satisfaction survey. The results were excellent, as in the previous year. Residents’ willingness to recommend VVO remained at a record-high level. No fewer than 92 (92) per cent had already recommended, or would be willing to recommend, VVO as a landlord.

A customer-oriented rental and building management process as well as electronic services were developed further. Development of VVO's operating model was continued according to a product group approach during the financial year. In November 2013, VVO was the first within the business sector to enable its customers to handle issues related to the signature of rental agreements on an entirely electronic basis, through the website. Deployment of the service resulted in a markedly faster rental process.