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Last Updated: Mar 28, 2017




Norway's house prices have accelerated dramatically, especially in the capital city, Oslo.

Why?  Because Norges Bank has successfully countered weak economic growth by cutting interest rates, and this has caused a house price surge.

There was a 10.1% rise in the nationwide house price index during the year in Q4 2016, the strongest rise since Q1 2010, according to Statistics Norway. When adjusted for inflation, house prices were up by 6.32% over the same period.

But in the capital Oslo, house prices skyrocketed by 21.67% y-o-y (17.48% inflation-adjusted) during the year to Q4 2016. During the last quarter of 2016, Oslo's house prices went up by 2.53% (2.08% inflation-adjusted) from the previous quarter.

In Q4 2016:
  • In Stavanger, house prices had a meagre rise of 0.37% y-o-y, and rose by 2.4% q-o-q.
  • In Bergen, the house price index rose by 3.17% y-o-y, and was up by 0.32% from the previous quarter.
  • In Trondheim, house prices had a strong increase of 9.06% y-o-y, however, prices dropped by 0.45% q-o-q.

Of Norway's regions, Akershus excluding Bærum had the highest annual price increase at 14.3%, followed by Nord-Norge (11.67%) and Sør-Østlandet (9.53%). Agder and Rogaland excluding Stavanger, saw the weakest annual price growth at 0.05%, while the regions of Vestlandet excluding Bergen (4.58%), Trøndelag exluding Trondheim (5.96%), and Hedmark and Oppland (6.59%) had moderate annual price hikes.

The average price of dwellings sold was NOK 3.5 million (US$ 410,179) in the last quarter of 2016, while the average price of holiday homes on an owned site was NOK 1.7 million (US$ 192,616), according to Statistics Norway.

Total dwellings sold increased by 2.9% to 24,700 from the same period last year during the last quarter of 2016. Likewise, the total number of holiday homes sold also went up by 1.7% to almost 4,200 units.

Statistics Norway attributed this growth in housing demand to low interest rates, high population growth and several years of strong income growth. The statistics bureau expects house prices to slightly increase in 2017, "but less than last year given the growing number of homes on the market".

With the imposition of tighter credit rules, Statistics Norway predicts nominal house prices to slightly decline in the next few years.

Real Estate Norway expects house prices to flatten in Q2 and Q3 2017, with a demand/supply balance in most parts of Norway. Real Estate Norway CEO Christian Dreyer forecasts continued price rises in the first few months of 2017, despite tighter credit measures.

“In the short term, the measures will have quite a small effect. Those who will buy housing in the first months will do it on the basis of financing approval that they have received from banks before Christmas. The banks will probably stand by them. Eventually though, these tighter requirements will take effect but just how big their impact will be is uncertain,” according to Dreyer.

Individuals and entities of all types are legally entitled to own, occupy, and invest in real estate.

Analysis of Norway Residential Property Market »


RENTAL YIELDS
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2006



Yields for properties in Oslo range from 3.6% to 5%. Properties in Bergen and Fjords areas have similar yields, at 3.9% - 4.2%.

Properties in Oslo can cost you around €5,000 to €6,700 per sq. m., depending on the size of the property; monthly rents are around €750 to €2,400. Bergen and Fjords’ rental markets offer a cheaper alternative, with properties costing €2,200 to €3,500 per sq. m. and monthly rents ranging from €450 to €1,200.

Read Rental Yields  »



TAXES AND COSTS
Last Updated: Nov 01, 2017



Rental Income: Rental income of nonresidents is taxed at a flat rate of 24%.

Capital Gains: Capital gains from the sale of real estate property are taxed as ordinary income at 24%.

Inheritance: Norwegian inheritance and gift taxes were abolished as of 01 January 2014.

Inheritance of spouses is not taxed. Inheritance of children and parents exceeding NOR470,000 (€62,710) are taxed from 6% to 10%.

Residents: Residents are taxed on their worldwide income.

Read Taxes and Costs  »



BUYING GUIDE
Last Updated: Nov 02, 2017



Total transactions costs range from 3.75% to 5.63%, according to Global Property Guide estimates. The buyer pays all costs involved, including the 2.5% stamp duty. Real estate agent’s fee is around 1% to 2.5% (plus 25% VAT).

Read Buying Guide  »



LANDLORD AND TENANT
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2006



Norwegian law is neutral between landlord and tenant.

Rents: The rental market is free; the Law of Tenancy (2000) removed the last rent controls, with the exception of Oslo pre-war housing. Rents are comparable with that normally obtained in agreements in new lettings of similar properties in similar terms. In practice, this is not onerous to landlords.

Tenant Security: Notice is not required at the end of the contract if the contract was fixed term. However, if the tenant continues to occupy the premises for more than 3 months at the end of the contract and the landlord does nothing about it, then the agreement becomes an unspecified term agreement.

Read Landlord and Tenant  »



ECONOMIC GROWTH
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2017


Modest economic growth in 2017

Norway GDP inflationFalling petroleum prices have hurt Norway's economy. Norway is the world’s eighth largest oil exporter and third largest gas exporter. Its petroleum industry is the country's largest industry, accounting for more than 20% of GDP, and around 47% of exports by value in 2016.  As a result, the country's GDP expanded by only 1% in 2016, a decline from 1.6% growth in 2015 and 1.9% in 2014, according to Statistics Norway.

However on an annual basis, the country's economy expanded by 1.8% during the year to Q4 2016, due to increased domestic demand and rising investment. According to Statistics Norway, the country's expansionary stance and interest rate cuts cushioned the economic slowdown, with lower interest rates stimulating consumption, investment and house prices.

The krone's depreciation also helped boost exports and lowered imports.

In 2017, growth is expected to be around 1.2%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But Statistics Norway and Danske Bank both expect stronger growth, at 1.4% and 1.5%, respectively.

Statistics Norway predicts a gradual oil price hike from US$ 55 per barrel to US$ 64 by end of 2020, pushing up petroleum investments from 2018 to 2020.

Unemployment was around 4.4% in December 2016, based on the figures from Statistics Norway, down from 4.7% in the same month last year. But the drop in unemployment was primarily caused by the reduction of labor supply, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Statistics Norway expects unemployment to gradually decline to around 4.3% in 2019.

In February 2017, Norway's inflation stood at 2.5%, down from 2.8% the previous month. The slower growth rate is attributed to the decline of airfares and food prices, according to Statistics Norway. Nationwide inflation is expected to moderate to 2.3% in 2017, and to 1.8% in 2018, according to Norges Bank

The country has elections on September 11, 2017. The coming elections are set to be a tight race between the ruling coalition, composed of the Conservatives and the Progress Party, and the opposition, headed by the Labour Party.







  • Strong and stable economy
  • Low transaction costs
  • Tenant-neutral rental market
  • Low rental yields in Oslo
  • High rental income tax
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY FACTS
Price (sq.m): n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property, usually an apartment.
Rental Yield: n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property, usually an apartment.
Rent/month: n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property.
Income Tax: 20.80% Assumptions: Owners are a non-resident couple drawing US$ / €1,500 per month in rent, with no other local income.
Roundtrip Cost: 4.69% The total cost of buying and then reselling an apartment. Includes:

* all transaction taxes and charges:
* lawyers' and notaries' fees
* agents' fees

Assumptions: The buyers are non-resident foreigners. The apartment cost US$250,00 / €250,000.
Cap Gains Tax: 24.00% Assumptions: The property was bought for US$250,000 / €250,000, and sold 10 years later, after a 100% appreciation.
Landlord and Tenant Law: Neutral Rating is based on a detailed study of each country’s law and practice.

News & Discussion
OCTOBER 2017

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