New home sales dropped sharply in January to 40 percent below the same time last year, according to the latest figures from the Norwegian Home Builders Association (Boligprodusentenes Forening). The biggest fall came in the Oslo area, where sales are down 56 percent on a 12 month basis.
“The trend worries us,” said the Association’s director, Per Jæger. “We had hoped for better numbers at the start of the year. The sales downturn in January 2014 against January 2013 is across all building types.” Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported the commissioning of new home projects is also down 37 percent on the start of last year.
The Association reported most counties experienced a drop in sales and housing starts, but the decline remains steepest in Oslo as it has for several months.
Construction companies remained positive after Friday’s results, said Jæger. “Despite the bad numbers in January our businesses report rising optimism, with a marked expectation of improvement in the market situation on a three-and 12-month basis,” he said.