Record home sales, but prices stable

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Record numbers of homes were sold in Norway in June, but prices were relatively stable compared to both last year and to the month of May. Housing prices in Oslo, which has long topped price growth lists, seem to have flattened out.

Oslo continues to have the highest housing prices, like here at Aker Brygge, and the shortest sales period in Norway. Prices, however, seem to have stabilized. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

“We have unchanged prices when we correct them for seasonal variation,” said Christian Dreyer, chief executive of the real estate industry association Eiendom Norge, when unveiling last month’s statistics Wednesday morning. June is often considered a busy and significant month, when many properties change hands before the summer holidays.

“It’s a flat market,” Dreyer stated. The seasonal variation aims to take into consideration market swings throughout the year. Without the correction, average sales prices in June actually fell by 1 percent from May on a nationwide basis.

The decline didn’t concern Dreyer and his colleagues, though. “It’s not so surprising given the very strong prices we had both in April and May,” he said. In Oslo, it’s no longer unusual for homes and condominiums to cost as much as NOK 100,000 per square meter.

Bergen logged what Dreyer called “the strongest trend in price development,” while prices in Oslo “moderated themselves … after many strong months.” Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the difference between prisantydning (suggested sales price) in real estate ads, and actual sales prices was the lowest this June than it has been for many years. That’s because bidding wars among prospective buyers keen on the same property have tapered off. Dreyer thinks that trend shows a better balance in the market.

It took an average of 38 days from listing to sale last month, on a national basis. That’s six days longer than last June. Sales materialized most quickly in Oslo, with homes on the market for an average of just 21 days. It took the longest time to sell homes in Kristiansand, where homes were on the market for an average of 69 days before they sold.

A total of 10,538 homes were sold in Norway in June, up 9.3 percent from June 2017. “That’s a lot,” Dreyer said. “June is often the month of the year when we have the most residential real estate transactions in the Norwegian market, since many want to sell before the summer holidays, but activity was record high.” He attributed that to “strong demand” for housing backed by a solid supply as well.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund