Since the financial crisis of 2008, and the growth of tourism inIceland – that has transformed many of the buildings in the main centres into hotels and short let apartments – it is difficult – and
expensive to rent an apartment in the country, especially in the capital
Most Icelanders are owners. Only 20% of homes in Iceland are rented. Word of mouth is definitely the best way to find accommodation – as with many things in Iceland. Be sure to circulate the information to your contacts in Iceland, you will have more chance of finding an apartment
To give you an idea of the prices, a room in an apartment in Reykjavík city center will cost between 60,000 and 90,000 ISK (between 500 and 700 euros), a large apartment with a room 180,000 ISK (1500 euros) and At least ISK 260,000 (2100 euros) for a two bedroom apartment. If you move further outside the city centre, the prices aren’t much cheaper, but the apartments are generally a bit larger.
In Akureyri, the second city of Iceland, a studio will cost about 80,000 ISK (650 euros) and an apartment with two rooms at least 140,000 ISK (1100 euros). Prices are high in Iceland; If you have signed a contract of at least six months, you may well be entitled to housing assistance. Go to your town hall every year to renew the request for help.
There are two main websites through which you can find classifieds for accommodation, but they are in Icelandic: leiga.is and leigulistinn.is. The latter requests a small contribution to have access to the contact details of the owners. You can also find some ads on the websites mbl.is, visir.is and bland.is, under the category “Húsnaedi í bodi”.
If you are looking for accommodation in a small town, some websites in the Icelandic municipalities have a vacancy section. Til Leigu Úti Á Landi (rental in all of Iceland), Íbúðir á ÖLLU Norðurlandi (for rent in northern Iceland), Leiga (For rent in the north of Iceland) are Facebook groups where you can search for accommodation. For rent in Iceland (Til leigu in Íslandi), Leiguíbúðir in Norðurlandi,
You can also peel the ads from local newspapers, hang your apartment request on a flipchart in the lobby of a university or other public buildings for example. Make sure you have accommodation for the first few weeks / months when you arrive in Iceland, then do your research on the spot. Talk about your apartment search to everyone you meet … and be patient!
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