Agriculture reform a tough row to hoe

For the first time in years, there was plenty of Norwegian lamb available in the stores this Easter and at relatively reasonable prices. Farm production is higher than ever, but farmers and their advocates remain dissatisfied and the government’s plans for more reforms face constant challenge. Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale of the conservative Progress Party rolled […]

Pharmacy prices set off protests

Norwegians have long had to deal with food and beverage prices that are as much as double those in neighbouring Sweden. Now the spotlight has turned to pharmacy prices that can be triple those for exactly the same products south and east of the border. It’s part of Easter week traditions in many Norwegian families […]

Hot housing market starts to cool down

Real estate brokers in Norway say they’re seeing clear signs that the country’s overheated housing market of the past few years is finally starting to cool down. Buyers are more cautious and price growth, especially in Oslo, flattened out in March. Norway’s national real estate organization Eiendom Norge released new housing price statistics on Wednesday that showed […]

Glut of lamb meat won’t lower prices

Norway’s allowance of strict market regulation in its agricultural sector has suddenly left the country with a glut of its lamb meat, often hyped as being of high quality to justify high prices. Warehouses of frozen lamb are now so stuffed with lamb that even farmers and Norway’s highly regulated meat industry are worried, but consumers can’t expect […]

Rema 1000 drops major suppliers

Grocery shopping in Norway has generated lots of criticism and complaints over the years, because of market concentration, high prices and relatively poor selection. Now one of Norway’s leading chains, Rema 1000, has really upset the shopping carts by removing many major brands from its shelves, in favour of local suppliers and only a few national conglomerates. The […]

Minister aims to reform farming

UPDATED: Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale launched a road show of sorts this week as he held the first of six open meetings around the country. He’ll be promoting and defending the conservative government’s latest plan to reform Norway’s heavily regulated, subsidized and protected farming industry, but faces the proverbial tough row to hoe. The plan was predictably blasted by […]

Oslo home prices due to rise again

It’s official: Average residential real estate prices in Oslo rose 22 percent in 2016 and fewer housing units are currently for sale than ever before. That means the prices of homes in the Norwegian capital are likely to rise even higher in 2017, and some claim city government officials have contributed to a growing affordability problem. As real […]

Finance minister tackles high debt

Worried about both rising debt levels and sky-high housing prices, Finance Minister Siv Jensen has rolled out a package of measures to make it harder to qualify for mortgages, especially in the Oslo area. She’s especially cracking down on investors and speculators in the housing market who are accused of driving up prices. “High debt makes […]

Swedish stores ‘more exciting’

It’s not just the lower prices that tempt carloads of Norwegians to cross the border and go grocery shopping in Sweden. A new study confirms that the sheer selection in Swedish grocery stores is so much bigger and better that it alone can be worth the trip. “I think the selection at Norwegian grocery stores […]

New meters may raise electricity bills

Hafslund Nett, the major network supplier of electricity in the Oslo area, has begun the process of replacing all of the roughly 700,000 electricity meters in its region. The new “smart” meters will eliminate the need for customers to send in meter readings, but are also likely to leave them with higher bills. Installation of the new meters, which […]