‘Hytte’ sales pick up with economy

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Norwegians still love having a hytte, their own holiday cottage in the mountains or by the sea, and prices are picking up. A sure sign of the current winter holidays in Norway have been all the ads for vacation properties with ski trails nearby.

A Norwegian hytte used to be a small, simple cabin, often in an isolated area without electricity or indoor plumbing. Today’s hytter can be large with all the comforts of home and more, and located in clusters close to others. PHOTO: DNB Eiendom

“All signs are pointing upwards in our market, and have been for a long while,” real estate broker Stig Svartor of DNB Eiendoms-megling in Lillehammer told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) last weekend.

“Sales are going faster and for better prices than we’ve seen earlier,” Svartor said. “There are also more rounds of bidding.”

The real estate brokers’ national association, Eiendom Norge, reported that the average price for a hytte in the mountains is now NOK 1.76 million (USD 220,000). Most new timber-style cabins with all amenities like electricity and plumbing sell for NOK 3 million to 4 million, or more, in popular areas. Prices in the double-digit millions are not uncommon in popular areas like Norefjell, Hafjell. Kvitfjell or Trysil.

Hafjell on top
DN reported that the former Olympic ski center of Hafjell, north of Lillehammer, was back on top regarding prices, with an average of NOK 3.3 million (USD 420,000). That was followed by Gaustablikk in the community of Tinn, at NOK 3.14 million, and Geilo with average hytte prices of NOK 3.1 million.

It now takes at least a month, though, to sell a hytte, with the fastest average sales time 35 days in Ringsaker, the community that’s home to the popular Sjusjøen skiing area. It takes the longest to sell a hytte around the mountain area of Hovden (Bykle) at the north end of Setesdalen.

Average sales time for a cabin in the mountains has declined, however, to 83 days last year from 106 days in the previous 12-month period. Brokers explained that vacation properties generally sell more slowly than residential properties.

Selective buyers
“But the average sales time has declined considerably,” said Christian Vammervold Dreyer of Eiendom Norge. Surveys shows that fewer hytte owners have any plans to sell their holiday properties, indicating that fewer used cabins are coming on the market while buyers are also more selective.

“A hytte has to have the right standard and location, and must be priced right,” Svartor told DN. He’s also sold more cabins to buyers sight unseen, another indication of strong interest. Prices in general are up 17.9 percent over the past three years.

In one case, a hytte at Hafjell was priced at NOK 4.99 million. After a round of bidding among 30 interested parties, it sold for NOK 5.4 million.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund