Buying an Apartment in Copenhagen: Complete Guide For 2024

Kristian Ole Rørbye


Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian is from Denmark but now lives in Thailand. As a foreigner in another country, he knows the need to get a good start, especially in finance, such as taking out loans, buying a car, and finding the best internet at a reasonable price.

Copenhagen, known for its rich history, striking architecture, and diverse culture, is a city that truly encapsulates the essence of Scandinavian living. Its lively neighborhoods offer a fantastic blend of contemporary design and historical charm, making it an exciting location for home buyers. But aside from the enticing aesthetics, the city’s welcoming social infrastructure and high quality of life make it a promising and worthwhile place to invest in property. 

While buying an apartment in Copenhagen might seem daunting, especially if you're not fluent in the local language, don't worry. Our aim is to equip you with all the knowledge you need to navigate this process with ease and confidence. We’ll help decode the ins and outs of the property market in Copenhagen, guide you through the necessary paperwork, explain the costs, and even share some insights on property management after your purchase. 

Key Takeaways

  • Know Your Market: Understanding Copenhagen's property market is key. Research, ask questions, and use online resources to gain insight.
  • Engage Professionals: A real estate agent, lawyer, and financial advisor can be invaluable in guiding you through the process and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
  • Budget Wisely: Remember, the cost of purchasing a property is not limited to its sale price. Factor in agent and legal fees, potential renovation costs, and ongoing expenses like taxes and maintenance.
  • Legal Requirements: The buying process has certain legal requirements, such as signing a purchase agreement and obtaining necessary permissions. Make sure to comply with all these to avoid future complications.
  • Property Management: Consider how you will manage your property post-purchase, especially if you're an expat or based abroad. Hiring a property management company can be an effective solution.

Why Buy an Apartment in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is a city that's buzzing with life, yet it manages to maintain an irresistible charm and tranquility that's truly unique. But what makes it an ideal place to invest in property or to call your home? 

Investment Opportunity

Firstly, the real estate market in Copenhagen has shown considerable stability and growth over the past few years. This is a reflection of the city’s robust economy and its ongoing appeal as a desirable place to live and work. Investors can therefore look forward to potential capital appreciation and attractive rental yields, particularly given the high demand for quality accommodation from the city's thriving expat community.

Quality of Life

Living in Copenhagen means enjoying an exceptional quality of life. The city consistently ranks high on global liveability indexes, thanks to its impressive infrastructure, healthcare, and educational institutions. Moreover, Copenhagen's strong commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in its numerous green spaces, clean harbor baths, and efficient public transportation system. 

Cultural Diversity and Vibrancy

Copenhagen is a city that embraces cultural diversity, and as an expat, you’ll find yourself welcomed into its vibrant international community. There's an endless variety of cultural and entertainment events throughout the year, alongside an impressive selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Whether you're a foodie, a culture enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Copenhagen has something to offer you.

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Work Opportunities

Copenhagen's booming economy is characterized by a strong job market and numerous opportunities for professionals in various sectors. From large multinational corporations to thriving startups, the city is a hotspot for innovation and business growth.

Buying an apartment in Copenhagen means investing in a city that's not just a great place to live, but also a location that promises financial returns. And while the process may seem a bit challenging, especially if you’re navigating it for the first time in a foreign country, we’re here to ensure it becomes a thrilling, rewarding journey.

Understanding the Danish Property Market

Embarking on a property purchase in a new country can feel like learning a new language. With unfamiliar terms and customs, it can seem like a labyrinth. But, fear not! We're here to simplify and demystify the Danish property market for you.

Overview of the Danish Property Market

Denmark's property market, particularly in Copenhagen, has been on an upward trajectory over the past few years. Thanks to its economic stability, low-interest rates, and urbanization trends, Copenhagen has become an attractive destination for international investors and expats alike. The market is characterized by a mix of historic and contemporary properties, ranging from traditional apartments in classic buildings to modern flats in newly developed areas.

Recent Trends in the Copenhagen Real Estate Market

In recent times, the real estate market in Copenhagen has seen healthy growth rates. This is attributed to an influx of international workers, a steady increase in the city's population, and an appealing urban lifestyle. 

Furthermore, specific areas within the city have become particularly attractive. Neighborhoods like Frederiksberg, Østerbro, and Vesterbro are incredibly sought after due to their location, cultural offerings, and array of amenities. Meanwhile, emerging areas such as Nordhavn and Ørestad offer exciting opportunities with new developments. 

Navigating this dynamic market might seem a tad overwhelming, but that's exactly where the excitement lies. It's about finding a space that's more than just a property. It's about finding a space that you can call home, a space that echoes your aspirations and lifestyle.

Related: Check our complete guide to housing in Denmark

The Buying Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Venturing into the process of buying a property in Copenhagen is an exciting journey, filled with anticipation and dreams of your perfect Danish home. However, it’s also a process that requires careful planning and understanding. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the buying process with ease and confidence. 

Pre-Purchase Preparations

Before you start hunting for properties, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your budget and financial capabilities. If you're considering a mortgage, reach out to banks or financial institutions to determine your eligibility and understand the terms. 

Searching for Properties

With your budget set, it's time to dive into the thrilling process of searching for properties. Several online platforms list properties in Denmark, and most of them provide an option for English translations. Consider engaging a real estate agent who can assist in finding properties that match your preferences and communicate with sellers on your behalf. 

The Legal Process

Buying property in Denmark involves a defined legal process. Once you've chosen a property, an initial purchase agreement is prepared. It's recommended to hire a lawyer who is familiar with Danish property law to review this agreement and guide you through the legalities. 

The Purchase

Once the initial agreement is signed, a cooling-off period of six business days applies, during which you can withdraw from the purchase. After this, the purchase becomes binding. A final contract is then signed, and the purchase price is paid in full or financed through a mortgage.

Buying an apartment in Copenhagen is indeed an exhilarating journey, a journey to find a place you can call 'home' amidst the city's beautiful parks, historical landmarks, and vibrant streets. With the right guidance and a clear understanding of the process, it can be a seamless and rewarding adventure. 

The Role of Real Estate Agents

In your quest for the perfect Copenhagen apartment, a real estate agent can be your trusted ally, a guiding light through the maze of property listings, legal documents, and negotiation processes. Here, we explore the pivotal role they play and how they can make your property buying journey smoother and more successful. 

What Services do Real Estate Agents Provide?

Real estate agents are professionals with a deep understanding of the property market. They provide crucial assistance in finding suitable properties based on your preferences, budget, and desired location. Beyond just finding properties, they also help in negotiating prices, preparing and reviewing contracts, and ensuring the overall process adheres to the legal framework of Denmark's property market.

For those who are not fluent in Danish, having a real estate agent who speaks English can be invaluable. They can translate and explain documents, communicate with sellers on your behalf, and ensure that you fully understand every step of the buying process.

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Without a doubt, a real estate agent brings expertise and local market knowledge to the table. They understand the intricacies and trends of Copenhagen's property market, which can give you a competitive edge when it comes to finding and securing the right property. 

Moreover, they can save you a significant amount of time by filtering out unsuitable listings, scheduling viewings, and handling communication with sellers. Perhaps most importantly, they can provide peace of mind, ensuring you avoid common pitfalls and navigate the property buying journey confidently and efficiently.

Understanding the Costs

Embarking on the journey of buying an apartment in Copenhagen, while thrilling, also requires a firm grasp of the costs involved. Having a comprehensive understanding of these financial factors is key to making confident, informed decisions. 

Breakdown of Total Costs

The total cost of buying an apartment in Copenhagen encompasses more than just the purchase price of the property. Additional costs to factor into your budget include:

  1. Real Estate Agent Fees: If you choose to use a real estate agent, their fees for services such as property search, negotiation, and contract preparation are an additional cost.
  2. Legal Fees: Hiring a lawyer to review contracts and guide you through the legal process incurs costs that need to be factored in.
  3. Registration Fees: The registration of deed and registration of mortgage come with their own fees. 
  4. Inspection Costs: A pre-purchase property inspection, although not mandatory, is highly recommended and comes at an additional cost.

Potential Hidden Costs

Beyond the obvious expenses, there are other costs to consider. These may include renovation or repair costs if the apartment isn't in perfect condition. Plus, there might be ongoing costs like building maintenance fees, homeowners association fees (if applicable), and property insurance.

Property Taxes in Denmark

Once you're a property owner, you'll also need to consider annual property taxes. These taxes are relatively moderate in Denmark and will depend on the value of your property.

Understanding all the costs associated with buying an apartment in Copenhagen ensures that you're fully prepared and can budget appropriately.

Financing Your Copenhagen Apartment: Mortgages and Legal Requirements

While the idea of owning a beautiful apartment in Copenhagen is undeniably exciting, it’s crucial to understand the financial and legal aspects of making this dream a reality.

Understanding Danish Mortgages

Danish mortgage institutions offer several mortgage loan options to finance property purchases. These include fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, and interest-only mortgages. The right choice will depend on your financial situation and personal preferences.

Mortgage lending in Denmark is characterized by transparency, low-interest rates, and flexible repayment terms. However, as an international buyer, it's crucial to note that lending policies can be stringent. Typically, you will be required to make a down payment of at least 5% of the property's purchase price. 

We recommend consulting with a financial advisor or a Danish mortgage institution to help you navigate the complexities and ensure you secure the best possible mortgage terms.

Check out our Mortgage Calculator for Denmark here.

Legal Requirements

When buying a property in Copenhagen, there are several legal requirements to be aware of. This includes signing a purchase agreement, which should be reviewed by a lawyer, and taking out home insurance, which is mandatory in Denmark.

The property ownership transfer process is handled by a deeds registry, which ensures that the transaction is legally binding. It's worth noting that as a foreigner, you might require permission from the Danish Ministry of Justice to buy property. This usually isn't an issue for EU citizens or those who have lived in Denmark for a certain period of time.

Post-Purchase Considerations: Property Management and Tenancy

Congratulations! You're now a proud owner of an apartment in Copenhagen. However, the journey doesn't end with the purchase. Whether you've bought the apartment for personal use or as an investment, there are some post-purchase considerations to keep in mind.

Property Management

If you're an expat who travels frequently or an international investor based abroad, managing your Copenhagen apartment can be a challenge. This is where property management companies come into play.

Property management companies in Denmark offer a range of services. These may include dealing with repairs and maintenance, handling insurance matters, and paying bills related to the property. They also ensure compliance with Danish housing laws and regulations. 

Engaging a property management company allows you to enjoy the benefits of property ownership without the hassle of day-to-day management.

Dealing with Tenants

If you've bought the apartment as an investment and plan to rent it out, there are several things to keep in mind. These include understanding Danish rental laws, setting an appropriate rental rate, and effectively managing tenant relationships.

Danish rental laws tend to favor the tenant, so it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of these laws. Moreover, ensuring you have a comprehensive and legally sound lease agreement is key to preventing future disputes. 

If managing tenants directly seems overwhelming, property management companies can also handle this aspect. They can find and vet potential tenants, collect rent, and handle any issues that may arise during the tenancy.


Can a non-Danish citizen buy property in Denmark?

Yes, a non-Danish citizen can buy property in Denmark. However, there are certain conditions. EU citizens living in Denmark or non-EU citizens who have lived in Denmark for a certain period of time usually have no restrictions. Other foreign buyers may require permission from the Danish Ministry of Justice.

Is it expensive to buy an apartment in Copenhagen?

Yes, Copenhagen is the most expensive city in Denmark. However, the cost of an apartment in Copenhagen can vary significantly based on location, size, condition, and other factors.

Do I need a lawyer when buying property in Denmark?

While not obligatory, it's highly recommended to have a lawyer review contracts and guide you through the legal process. This can help avoid potential legal issues down the line.

How can I finance my property purchase in Denmark?

Typically, property purchases are financed through mortgage loans from Danish mortgage institutions. It's advisable to consult with a financial advisor or a Danish mortgage institution to understand your options and secure the best terms.

Additional Resources

Here are some useful links that can provide more detailed information and assistance:

  1. Copenhagen Property Websites: Websites such as Boliga, DBA, and Boligsiden list properties for sale in Denmark and offer a great starting point for your property search.
  2. Danish Mortgage Institutions: Realkredit Danmark, Nykredit, and Danske Bank provide information on various mortgage loan options.
  3. Danish Law: The Ministry of Justice and Danish Law Firms provide information and assistance on legal aspects of buying property.
  4. Property Management Companies: Companies like Taurus and Dabea offer property management services for owners based abroad or who prefer professional management of their property.
  5. Expat Communities: Forums such as Expats and Foreigners in Copenhagen on facebook and Internations can offer insights, advice, and support from fellow expats who have gone through the process of buying property in Denmark.
  6. Invest in Denmark: Invest in Denmark is a government agency that provides services for foreign investors and companies looking to establish or expand their business in Denmark.
Kristian Ole Rørbye

ABOUT Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian is from Denmark but now lives in Thailand. As a foreigner in another country, he knows the need to get a good start, especially in finance, such as taking out loans, buying a car, and finding the best internet at a reasonable price.

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