Housing market starts year with weak prices

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Housing prices slid again during the first month of the new year, sliding 2.2 percent in January on a national average. Real estate brokers’ association Eiendom Norge called it the weakest January in 10 years.

Sales and prices often pick up after the Christmas holidays, but not this year. Average prices were down, fully 9.4 percent in the Oslo area, from last January. Transactions actually increased, though, and the real estate brokers see some signs of recovery after the market turned downwards last year following years of sensational price growth.

Prices in the Sarpsborg-Fredrikstad area were up 5,4 percent, while prices are higher than in recent months also in Bergen. The brokers’ association said it now takes around 58 days to sell a home on average in Norway, compared to 44 days in January of 2017.

Kari Due Andresen, chief economist at Handelsbanken in Norway, told state broadcaster NRK that she and her colleagues think the downturn in the housing market will continue until summer, but then bottom out. Prices may start rising on a year-to-year basis after that, fueled by pent-up demand.

newsinenglish.no staff