Despite Norway being a country of homeowners, with around 70 percent of people in their 30s having a foot on the property ladder, most residents will rent at some point in their lives.
Recent figures from Statistics Norway have found that tenants in Norway have a lower perceived quality of life than homeowners, among other things.
“The quality of life survey shows that tenants in Norway are less satisfied with life than homeowners. The difference is particularly prominent for middle-aged people,” the report stated.
However, there was little to no difference in the quality of life of homeowners and tenants in their 20s.
Tenants were also found to be less satisfied with their homes than owners in all age groups that Statistics Norway analysed. 41 percent of tenants in their late 20s were dissatisfied with their home compared to 17 percent of owners in the same age group.
The proportion of tenants dissatisfied with their housing increased as they got older, before declining again between 67 and 79, while the proportion of owners unhappy with their homes fell with age.
Renters were also more likely to experience a marital breakdown or suffer severe financial difficulties. Almost four out of ten who rent said they had experienced serious financial problems over the last five years, and just under a third said they had been through a divorce in the last half a decade.
Another drawback of renting compared to owning was being less likely to feel a sense of belonging in their local area. Less than four out of ten tenants said they felt a connection to where they lived. However, this was attributed to renters relocating more often.
Like their homes, renters were also less satisfied with their local area. Around 20 percent of those in the rental market weren’t happy with their surroundings. The proportion of renters unhappy with the area they live in was more than double the proportion of homeowners dissatisfied with where they live.
A larger proportion of those with landlords also said that they lacked access to safe hiking or recreational areas. However, Statistics Norway stated that this wasn’t due to a large proportion of the country’s tenants being located in cities.
Families with children were also likely to encounter problems renting, according to the report. This is due to the predominance of small homes on the rental market not being suitable for families with children and because renters were more likely to relocate more often, which is an obstacle in providing stability to the family.