How to find where to live in Iceland?

Why is it hard to find place to live in Iceland ?

 

Finding a place where to live in Iceland is hard not only for foreigners but also for Icelanders.
It is hard to find where to live for 4 main reasons :
1. High tourism. People are renting their places for tourists and only for short term.
2. Very high immigration. Because of high tourism, Iceland needs many workers and there are good working conditions and competitive salary. Thats why people are flooding here but almost all of them founds problem with settling down.
3. Iceland is not able to build new buildings for living as fast as they want. In Reykjavik you can see many building sites which are being finished slowly (probably because of lack of workers).
4. To rent or to buy a house or flat in Iceland is very expensive for people who doesn’t have much savings. For example to rent a 1 room in shared house in Reykjavik you will have to pay around 100 000 ISK + deposit which will be also 100 000 – 200 000 ISK (depends on landlord).

How much does it cost to rent a place in Iceland ?

 

In this article mostly I will be writing about Reykjavik – capital of Iceland and it’s surroundings. Reykjavik is the biggest town and most of the people live here. Actually if you have what to do outside Reykjavik (you found a job in small town in Iceland or you have a lot of money and want to live in beautiful nature) you will see that rent is much cheaper in other places than Reykjavik.

Iceland capital region is divided in municipalities as you can see down here :

Municipalities / Population
Reykjavík 122,460
Kópavogur 34,140
Hafnarfjörður 28,189
Garðabær 14,717
Mosfellsbær 9,481
Seltjarnarnes 4,415
Kjósarhreppur 217

And all Iceland is divided in regions that have themselves post codes. By those post codes is easier to navigate and find places in capital region.
Bellow you see the map of capital region with post codes :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am writing about regions and municipalities because prices of rent differs by it. Let’s take a look at some examples for summer of 2017 :
Studio in 101 area – 210 000 ISK per month + 210 000 ISK deposit.
3 rooms in a house in 107 area – 225 000 ISK per month + 225 000 ISK deposit.
2 rooms apartment in 105 area – 170 000 ISK per month + 170 000 ISK deposit.
1 room in apartment in 101 area – 80 000 ISK per month + 160 000 ISK deposit.

If you are lucky when searching you can find something cheaper but it can take time.

Where to look for the place to live ?

 

Here is a list with descriptions about websites where to look for a place to live :

leiga.is/ – easy search engine but it doesn’t have a lot to offer. Here you will be able to find expensive big houses or apartments.
leigulistinn.is – here you will have to pay 4200 ISK fee to get a list of properties. If you won’t find what to rent in other websites I would recommend to pay a fee – it gives you 1 month subsrcripton to look for listed properties with phone numbers and emails. This one helped me year ago.
mbl.is – this one is search engine for a lot of things to buy or rent in Iceland. You can take a look, try to search for properties but there are not so many listings. Maybe you will get lucky.
bland.is – thats Icelandic online shopping, renting, selling center. Here you will find many listings. Probably the most chances to find a place where to live is in this website. Just be fast – if you found new ad, call or email owner immediately.
360.is – not so many listings, mostly requests “Looking for a room”.. But you can try.
http://fasteignir.visir.is/ – mostly has for sale listings but sometimes occurs rent offers.
leiguherbergi.is/ – they have few apartments to rent but always as I call them they are full or not answering.
heimavellir.is/ – usually they have 5-10 expensive listings but always worth to check.

And whats left are facebook groups. There are many groups and it is very competitive as many users are just waiting for new ad to occure. You need to be fast contacting person who posted in a group. Here I do not include all of facebook groups because some of them are very small. Thats the list of bigger groups :
1. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1421145178185531/?ref=br_rs
2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/760451174069738/?ref=br_rs
3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/840749139307189/?ref=br_rs
4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/810385915715839/?ref=br_rs
5. https://www.facebook.com/groups/306817262791092/?ref=br_rs
6. https://www.facebook.com/groups/678564445497409/?ref=br_rs

 

What to do if you are not able to find where to live?

 

Hunt for place to live is not always successful so you need to have some options what to do if you already in the country or you just ready to arrive with plane tickets.

Thats a list of options what you can do while looking for a place to live :

1. Check your friends – maybe they are in Iceland and are able to let you stay in theirs place for few days or maybe they know that someone is renting a place somewhere. Many of rooms for rent are going through the close friends circle.
2. Check www.couchsurfing.com – you can find some good people who may let you stay in their place for few days while you are looking for a room. But in my practice couchsurfing in Iceland is not working very well…
3. Stay in cheap hostel or dorm while you are looking for your place. You can follow this link. Usually booking . com offers best deals for a stay :
Cheapest hostels booking.com
Just search for your best option. You can find deals in hostels for 2500 ISK per night. That means if you stay in hostel for full month you will pay 2500 x 30 = 75 000 ISK. Probably cheaper then you would pay for rented property.
4. Stay in tent while looking for place. I did that for 2 weeks in september while I was trying to find a room. Everywhere in the city you can get wifi. So wake up – get out of tent and go for hunt. Camping is allowed almost everywhere in Iceland, just do not camp near people houses or other properties.
Make sure you buy a tent before coming to Iceland because in here they are too expensive.
For Iceland weather I would recommend these cheap but good tents from good seller – amazon :

 

When you will find where to live you can check what SALARIES ARE IN ICELAND and just start LOOKING FOR JOB.

 

*** If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me 🙂

Booking.com