Last year my wife and I bought a house. Since then we have been tenants of Nacka municipality who owned the land the house sits on. It’s a tiny plot, hardly larger than the house itself, and surrounded by communal land. But the interest on a mortgage loan is quite a bit less than the land rent, and over time the real value of the interest payments shrinks through inflation while the rent is adjusted upwards. So today we bought the land plot as well, which means that I now own a piece of Sweden. Or rather, that the bank owns it and lets it to us as long as we pay the interest. The Swedish word for interest, ränta, is actually a cognate of “rent”.

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