Banks finally trim rates, housing prices rise

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It took them a few weeks, but more banks in Norway are finally lowering their interest rates on loans after a Danish competitor goaded them into it. Danske Bank’s cut just before the weekend was being followed by other banks this week, as news broke that housing prices are higher than ever.

Both DNB, Norway’s largest bank, and rival Nordea lowered rates after the country’s central bank, Norges Bank, cut its key lending rate by a quarter-point, to a record low 1.25 percent on December 11.

Now Sparebank 1 Nord-Norge, SR-Bank and BN Bank have said they will lower rates as well and most others are expected to follow. Adjustable mortgage rates in Norway are now well under 4 percent, a level that has kept the real estate market vigorous despite record high prices.

Real estate brokers reported on Tuesday that average prices climbed again last month, the first increase logged in the otherwise quiet month of December since 2003. Average housing prices nationwide are now 8.1 percent higher than they were a year ago.

newsinenglish.no staff