Housing prices fell in October

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Norway’s national real estate brokers’ association, Eiendom Norge, reported on Wednesday that the prices of homes sold in October were an average 1.2 percent lower than they were the month before. “It’s one of the weakest Octobers we’ve had in 10 years,” the association’s director told state broadcaster NRK.

It's taking a lot longer to sell homes in hard-hit Stavanger, which has been hit hardest by the slowdown in the oil industry. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

It’s taking a lot longer to sell homes in Stavanger, which has been hit hardest by the slowdown in the oil industry. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Christian Vammervold Dreyer said at a press conference that the price decline was higher than expected.  A total of 8,022 homes were sold last month, down 9 percent from the number sold in October of last year.

Average prices were still up 5.6 percent on an annual basis, compared to those fetched in October 2014. A total of 78,722 homes have also been sold so far this far nationwide, up 4.1 percent from the first 10 months of 2014.

Activity slacked off in October, though. “Even though we’re still at a record-high level of homes sold so far this year, there was less activity than normal in October,” Dreyer said. “We have to go back to October of 2010 to find fewer transactions.”

The new real estate figures reflect Norway’s economic slowdown, also on a regional basis. It now takes much more time, on average, to sell a home in Stavanger and Kristiansand (54 and 53 days respectively) than it does in Oslo and Bodø (17 and 18 days). Stavanger and Kristiansand have been hit especially hard by the slowdown in the oil industry caused by lower oil prices.

“Stavanger has had a considerable inventory of homes on offer this year,” Dreyer said. “The listings are very, very long.” He also noted that the slowdown in Stavanger’s real estate market has clearly extended throughout Rogaland County and into other areas of Vestlandet and Sørlandet (western and southern Norway).

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund