Mariette went down to the Mom and Pop fish stand and bought a large chunck of smoked salmon and sauce for $7. At Whole Foods in Mountain View it would have been 3X that, at a guess. Of course Mom and Pop do not have a lot of administrative costs. Pop goes out on his boat in the morning, brings in his haul, prepares it and Mom opens the stand about 2:00 and people come from the neighborhood or further away and buy up everything they’ve got for the day. Both folks are receiving their pensions and if they have to pay anything for use of the shack it can’t be much.
On a broader basis, we find food prices are about the same as in the SF Bay Area. Fruit is a bit more expensive, but we were buying ours from a little place called the Milk Pail in Mountain View that the Food Network said was the top produce market in the U.S. If there is any place we will miss in the U.S. it is the Milk Pail.
Anyway, housing prices are maybe a seventh of what they are in the Bay Area. I read recently that the median home price in Palo Alto is $1.6 million! One analyst said Palo Alto is the hottest real estate market in the world right now. Facebook execs flush with cash are looking to buy and that is keeping prices high.
For that price you could get a seven-room beauty with an acre of land right on the beach here in Halmstad. For $100,000 you can get a decent sized house on half an acre out in the country not too far from town. $100,000 wouldn’t buy a dumpster in San Francisco.
On the other hand, be sure to buy your shoes before coming to Sweden. Shoe prices are 2 and 3 times what they are in the U.S. No real reason why. There is a 25% sales tax on most items, which accounts for part of it but shoe prices are outrageous here. TV (60 channels), internet (MUCH faster here) and phone will cost us $100 a month with first three months free, which beats Comcast by a mile.
Other prices seem to be comparable to the U.S., even with the 25% sales tax. The prices on the tag reflect the sales tax, unlike the U.S., so what you see on the tag is what you pay. There is no tax on food and probably some other necessities.
On Saturday, went for a bike ride to a neighboring town up the coast and found this kvarn (windmill) being used as a home. At least it looked like someone was living there.