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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Housing prices up 9.3 percent

Despite a small month-to-month dip in October, average residential real estate prices rose by 9.3 percent over the same month last year, according to statistics released this week by the national real estate brokers’ organization.

The dip, of 0.6 percent, appeared after removing what the brokers called “seasonal variations.” Otherwise, average sales of apartments and single-family homes were up 0.8 percent from September to October.

The most important comparison was the annual rise, an indication of how hot the real estate market has been in Norway this year while many other countries are experiencing serious economic and financial difficulties. The average rise in prices from January to October was 11 percent.

Many analysts and politicians fear the real estate market is overheated, and that rising debt can lead to a crack and falling prices. Lack of affordability for first-time buyers with little or no equity is another issue, and cabinet minister Audun Lysbakken of the Socialist Left party (SV) said this week that he wants to calm down bidding rounds that often send prices up.

Lysbakken noted that many Norwegians spend more time buying clothes than a home, not least because of time pressure during bidding rounds. There’s also little time to inspect properties thoroughly, when there’s pressure from other buyers keen on sealing a deal. Longer bidding periods could also make homebuying less risky, he said, and he was meeting with industry players to share ideas.

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