No takers yet for ‘royal’ home

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Norway’s Princess Märtha Louise plans to move to London with her family this fall, but she and her author husband Ari Behn haven’t yet managed to rent out their home outside Oslo. Real estate brokers suspect the price listed on rental ads is too high.

Princess Martha Louise, shown here arriving at last weekend's memorial services for terror victims, plans to move to London soon. PHOTO: Views and News

The rental rate of NOK 45,000 (USD 7,500) per month has thus been removed from online advertising of the property in Lommedalen, a scenic valley surrounded by forests in Bærum west of Oslo. It takes about a half-hour to drive from Oslo to Lommedalen, longer in rush-hour traffic.

“We removed the price so that it wouldn’t be an absolute premise,” Jan Herud of the real estate firm that has the listing, Privatmegleren, told newspaper VG. “It was a relatively high price for an outlying area of Bærum, so now we’ll see how much the market is willing to pay.”

The property consists of a main house and several other buildings in a forest setting. The princess won a special exemption from zoning regulations to expand the property when she and Behn bought it after their marriage in 2002.

Text in English was also added to one online version of the ad, as an “extra service” to the real estate agent’s clients. “We have clients from various countries, and in this way, they can get information about the property,” Herud told VG.

There was little text on Privatmegleren’s own version of the ad (external link), however, with no documentation offered and a message that no showings were scheduled.

Herud claimed he wasn’t exactly sure when the princess and her family intended to vacate the house and make it available to potential renters, although her three daughters are expected to start school in England at the end of summer holidays.

“All brokers hope such transactions occur as quickly as possible,” he said, noting that July, August and September were “the most normal” months for changes of residence.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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