FSD3558 Free-time Residence Barometer 2021

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  • Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)


expenditure, holidays, housing, leisure time, leisure time activities, local community facilities, second homes, telework, waste disposal and handling, water supply

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The survey studied developments in the use of free-time residences and holidays homes in Finland. Spending time at a free-time residence (mökki) is a widespread phenomenon in Finland with deep historical and cultural roots, forming a significant part of domestic tourism. In this survey, the term "free-time residence" refers to rural recreational residences (holiday homes, cottages) mainly used during weekends and holidays, especially during summertime. The 2021 survey was commissioned by the Island Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and funded by the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

The use of the free-time residence was charted by asking the respondents, for example, about the distance between their free-time residence and permanent residence in kilometres and hours, the location of their free-time residence, and its suitability for year-round habitation. They were also asked to indicate the number of days their holiday home had been used each month in the previous 12 months as well as the number of people who had spent at least one night there. Willingness to rent out the residence to other people was also queried. The respondents were asked whether their use of the residence had increased or decreased in the previous three years, and to estimate whether it would increase or decrease in the following three years. In addition, they were asked whether a household member had commuted to work from or worked remotely from the second home, and whether the respondents themselves teleworked or would be willing to telework there. Opinions on the impact of rising fuel prices on time spent at the free-time residence were also charted.

Questions related to the standard of the free-time residence covered the total floorage, access to electricity, heating, and available amenities at the free-time residence. Views were also probed on the accommodation capacity, improvements made in the last 12 months, and future improvements. In addition, the respondents were asked to rate the overall state of the main building. Water supply and waste disposal was investigated with questions about sources of water for drinking, cooking and washing, wastewater management, type of outhouse, and waste management.

Service provision at the free-time residence was charted by asking the distance to the nearest services (e.g. grocery store, health centre, library, post office, bus stop). Satisfaction with various services available in the proximity of the free-time residence was canvassed as well as willingness to buy various services. In addition, the respondents were asked whether they usually bought groceries and other goods and services from a store/company located in their municipality of residence, along the way, or in the municipality where the free-time residence was located.

The use of money was surveyed with questions on the average amount of money used per each day spent at the free-time residence, and the amount of money spent on building or repairing the residence, purchasing goods, and using services close to the residence in the previous 12 months. In addition, the annual amount of various fees and user charges related to the residence (e.g. real property tax, private road fees, harbour and quay dues, and waste collection, electricity, waste water, and telephone charges) was queried.

Respondents were asked about their participation in different community activities (e.g. local community events, municipal politics, associations) in the municipality of their free-time residence. Opinions on introducing a law that would allow free-time residence owners to have the same access to services and the same voting and eligibility rights as permanent residents in the municipality of their free-time residence were surveyed. Attitudes towards easing the building code that regulates the construction of free-time residences were also examined.

Background variables included the respondent's municipality of free-time residence, municipality of permanent residence, economic activity, household size, household characteristics, and household monthly gross income.

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