Higher home prices surprise brokers

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Real estate brokers said Tuesday they were surprised by yet another increase in average housing prices in July. The hot weather and summer holiday season did not melt the market like they usually do, according to new figures released this week.

Homes and condominiums are still selling briskly in Norway. These residential units are found in Stavanger, one of Norway's priciest markets. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Homes and condominiums are still selling briskly in Norway. These residential units are found in Stavanger, one of Norway’s priciest markets. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Statistics from the brokers’ national organization Eiendom Norge show that prices paid by homebuyers in July were up 0.1 percent from June, When adjusted for seasonal variations, the price increase amounted to 0.9, while prices were 2.6 percent higher than in July of last year.

The increase marks the seventh in a row this year and shows that the housing market remains hot, with interest rates low and demand high. The figures are based on all houses and condominiums advertised on the multiple listing service finn.no, which covers around 70 percent of all real estate offered on the market in Norway.

“We’re surprised since we had expected a careful decline in prices,” Christian Vammervold Dreyer of Eiendom Norge said at a Tuesday morning press briefing. “The seasonally adjusted figures show strong price development.”

July and December are usually the two months of the year with little activity and stagnant if not even falling prices. He said brokers were anxious to see how sales figures for August would shape up, when the real estate usually picks up as people return from summer holidays.

“Homes sold in July are mostly those that were advertised before the holidays, and often are dominated by small condominiums in the cities,” Dreyer said. A total of 4,268 properties changed hands in July, around the same number as last year, he said.

Tromsø recorded the strongest price growth, followed by Oslo and Bergen. Resale properties have been more popular lately than new housing projects, mostly because of higher prices for new residential units.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund