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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Norway tops in kitchen remodeling

Norwegians are fixing up their kitchens like never before. Armed with purchasing power and a strong willingness to invest in their homes, Norwegians are spending huge amounts on high-quality kitchen cabinets, ultra-modern and expensive appliances and fancy countertops.

“The market is setting new records, with an overall increase of 10 percent for the first half of this year,” Bjørn Erik Øye, trend analyst at Prognosesenteret, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “If it continues like this, there will be around 1.5 million kitchen cabinets sold in Norway this year.” That’s a lot, he notes, in a country of just 5 million people.

‘A class of its own’
“Norway is in a class of its own when it comes to remodeling,” said Jan Christian Thommesen of IKEA Norge, the Norwegian division of the huge Swedish home furnishings firm IKEA. “The tempo in this area in Norway is completely unique, which is what I think is the reason things are also going so well for other players in the branch.”

IKEA remains the biggest player in the Norwegian market, but high-end kitchen suppliers like Poggenpohl enjoyed a 40 percent rise in its sales in Oslo last year and Norwegian supplier Sigdal reports strong margins and a 23 percent rise in sales last year, according to DN.

“Norway distinguishes itself from other Nordic countries and has become an important market for us, since it hasn’t been hit so badly by the finance or euro crises,” a spokesman for Danish kitchen supplier HTH told DN. HTH’s sales in Norway have been rising by nearly 30 percent annually, while other kitchen dealers are reporting similar gains, sometimes as high as 50 percent.

Home investment
While there’s been a slight decline in housing sales recently, Norwegians are investing heavily in the homes they already have. “We have purchasing power in Norway which among other things is used for remodeling,” Ove Dalsbø of Sigdal told DN.

At least one seller of new kitchens has clearly cashed in on Norwegians’ active remodeling, also in the area of bathrooms and new closets. DN reported that HTH dealer Fred Karlsen, age 55, has earned NOK 34 million (USD 5.6 million) in dividends on his HTH  business since 1999, enough to allow him to buy a condominium at Oslo’s fashionable Aker Brygge complex for NOK 21 million. He sold his house on the island of Snarøya for NOK 28 million, less than the appraised value of NOK 31 million but still a gain of NOK 12.5 million during the six years he owned it. He’d bought the house with a view of the fjord for NOK 15.5 million in 2006.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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