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PROPERTY

Which municipalities in Norway charge the highest property tax? 

Norway is known for its notoriously high taxes, but what is property tax and which municipalities charge the most? Here's what you need to know.

Which municipalities in Norway charge the highest property tax? 
These are the municipalities which charge the highest average property taxes. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Figures from the Homeowners’ National Association have revealed the ten municipalities in Norway that collect the highest property taxes. 

Gausdal in Innlandet, Central Norway is the municipality that charges the highest property tax, according to the numbers from the Homeowners’ National Association. 

The municipality charges 8,780 kroner per year in property tax on the average home. 

Property tax in Norway is a municipal levy that local authorities can opt to introduce. The tax is calculated as being between 0.1 and 0.7 percent of a property’s residential value.

Residential value is used because some properties may be valued higher if there is the potential to use them as a leisure home such as a cabin.  

Municipalities tend to calculate a rate based on a percentage of the market value rather than the full estimate to prevent sky-high property taxes in some areas. The municipalities estimation of value typically comes from Statistics Norway.

You can read more about property tax on the Norwegian Tax Administration’s website.  

Property in Norway: What to expect if you’re buying a home in Oslo

In 2021, 251 municipalities in Norway have levied a property tax, four more than the year before. 

In addition to this, municipalities expect to rake in over 400 million kroner more in property tax this year than last year. 

“We have reacted strongly to the fact that municipalities are collecting more and more in property taxes from ordinary homeowners”, Morten Andreas Meyer, secretary-general of the Homeowners’ National Association, told radio station P4

The Mayor of Gausdal Anette Musdalslien told P4 that topping the list isn’t something the municipality is proud of but that the property tax is necessary due to the authority’s poor finances. 

“This is one of the few revenue streams we have outside of state funding,” she said. 

Nevertheless, the Homeowners’ National Association have hit out at the tax calling it unfair. 

“It is a tax that does not take into account income or wealth. So it turns out to be unfair and does not contribute to the equalization that taxes are supposed to,” Meyer, general secretary for the association, said. 

If you think that you have been overcharged on property tax, you can appeal to the Norwegian Tax Administration here, and if you want to calculate how much property tax you will be charged, you can use this tool

Below you can see the list of the ten municipalities which charge the highest taxes for the average 120 square metre dwelling: 

1. Gausdal: 8,780 kroner 

2. Giske: 8,300 kroner 

3. Trondheim: 7,400 kroner 

4. Skaun: 7,395 kroner 

5. Vindafjord: 7,360 kroner 

6. Kinn: 7,224 kroner 

7. Grong: 7,200 kroner 

8. Marker: 7,200 kroner 

9. Vaksdal: 6,970 kroner 

10. Løten: 6,791 kroner

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PROPERTY

Key mistakes to avoid when bidding on a house in Norway 

Norway's house bidding process is equally stressful and confusing, but before putting in an offer, you should make sure you aren't making any of these costly mistakes. 

Key mistakes to avoid when bidding on a house in Norway 

Buying a house is normally stressful enough, whether it’s getting a mortgage in place, going to dozens of viewings or spending hours going through listings. 

In Norway, the process is further complicated by the house bidding process, which you will have to go through when buying most properties today.

Additionally, you could make several mistakes that could make the process harder or cost you dearly. 

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Not having financing in place

Before you can bid on a property, you need to visit the bank to ensure financing for your purchase. If you are taking out a mortgage on the house, you will need to make sure you know the set limit the bank will allow to borrow. 

When you make a bid, the estate agent will contact the bank to ensure that you have the financial arrangements. If you do not have enough money or the mortgage your bank agreed on doesn’t cover the cost, your bid will be rebuffed. 

Therefore it is crucial to know your financial limits when entering bidding rounds to avoid any disappointments. 

Making a bid on a house you aren’t sure about

You should be absolutely sure that you could see yourself living in a property when you bid on it. This is because bids in Norway are legally binding, meaning that even if you put in a speculative bid and it’s accepted, you won’t be able to back out.

This means that you should avoid putting in any offers on homes you aren’t 100 percent sure about.

So while you may be in a rush to get on the property ladder or take a step up, patience will prevail over diving in headfirst. 

Forgetting to do proper research

The devil is always in the detail, and as dull as it may be, you should always read the small print to avoid any nasty shocks. 

This is especially important when buying apartments in Oslo and other cities where you will likely encounter housing associations where residents will be expected to pay various fees or contribute to the upkeep of the block. 

“For instance, if they are planning to replace the roof of the block the next year, you will read about it in the sales documents. It is important to consider whether you can afford a property also after potential add-ons,” Trine Dahl-Pettersen, real estate agent at Eindom 1, explained to The Local

Reading the small print isn’t the only place where research pays off. For example, one reader who has bought a house in Norway pointed out that finding a place that needs a little bit of work can help you avoid intense bidding wars, and locals tend to want a ready-made home to move into. 

“Finding a property that won’t go sky high over the asking price when bidding can be challenging. However, I quickly noticed that Norwegians are not afraid to bid high for a ready-to-go home,” Scott told The Local of his experiences buying in Bergen. 

“If you are comfortable doing some work on it, you can find a much better deal, maybe even under the asking price,” he added.

Therefore, market research can help prevent you from paying over the odds. 

Making more than one bid at a time

Unfortunately, putting plenty of bids out and seeing which offers stick could be a lot more disastrous than you may think. 

As mentioned earlier, bids in Norway are legally binding. Meaning that if you have two bids accepted at the same time, you will be legally obligated to purchase both of them.

Not having BankID

Despite the bidding process being done over the phone, there are still some hoops to jump through. 

You’ll need to have a Norwegian Bank ID available for the bidding process, as it is needed to confirm your identity when sending your bids. 

Without this, you won’t be able to lodge any offers. 

In addition to bank ID, you will need a Norwegian identification number (D-number/Personnummer) to hand. 

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