Housing prices may finally be settling down

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The high price of housing in Norway may have peaked, at least for now. Real estate brokers report fewer prospective buyers at open house showings, and sales figures for March were mostly flat after months and years of strong increases.

Average prices for single family homes were up just 0.3 percent, reported the real estate brokers’ national organization EFF, while average prices for multi-family homes (apartments and duplexes or townhouses) were unchanged. That yielded a total price increase of 0.1 percent from February to March.

The stability follows a 4 percent price rise in January, and the March figures were still 7 percent ahead of March 2012. But demand seems to be tapering off, after square meter prices hit record levels and often run as much as NOK 60,000 in Oslo and other Norwegian cities.

March is normally a strong month in the real estate market, so last month’s dip may indicate a negative development given seasonal adjustments. The lengthy Easter holiday at the end of the month likely contributed to the fall-off in sales activity, but brokers note that there’s a lot of inventory on the market. For the first time in a long time, buyers can be more selective and even bargain in some areas.

Price rises were highest in Tromsø last month, followed by Trondheim and the Stavanger area. They were lowest, or in decline, in Kristiansand, according to the EFF statistics.

newsinenglish.no staff