PROPERTY: Sharp rise in rental prices in Bergen 

The cost of renting in Norway’s biggest cities rose during the first quarter of the year, with the sharpest increases in Bergen, figures released on Thursday revealed. 

Bergen, Norway.
The cost of renting in Bergen in Norway rose by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2022. Pictured is a drone view of Bergen. Photo by Rune Haugseng on Unsplash

Rent prices rose by 1.6 percent in Norway’s four largest cities in the first three months of 2022, Real Estate Norway’s (Eindom Norge) latest figures revealed

The most substantial price growth was in Bergen, where rent rose by more than 15 percent in the first quarter. 

“Eiendom Norge’s rent statistics show an increase in rental housing prices in Norway as a whole in the first quarter of 2022. In Bergen, there was a strong increase of 15.1% in the first quarter of the year,” Hennig Lauridsen, CEO of Real Estate Norway, said of the figures. 

The cost of renting in Trondheim rose by 5.1 percent, and rental prices in Oslo increased by 0.1 percent. 

Stavanger saw a fall in rental prices during the first quarter, with it becoming almost 2 percent cheaper to let a property. 

READ ALSO: Where can you buy a house in Norway for less than 3 million kroner?

Bergen, and another city on the west coast, Stavanger, saw the highest rental price growth over the past year, with 13.4 and 7.8 percent increases, respectively. The cost of a let in Trondheim has increased by 2.5 percent over the past year, compared to 2.3 percent growth in Oslo. 

Real Estate Norway said that there had been a significant drop in the number of rental homes available on during the first quarter of the year. 

Lauridsen said one explanation could be people selling their second homes and rental properties falling an increase in the wealth tax at the beginning of the year. 

“We believe the low supply can partly be explained by the increased wealth taxation of secondary homes in 2022, as we have received feedback on many wanting to sell their rental homes as a result,” he said. 

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Half of Oslo’s old apartment blocks don’t meet fire safety regulations

As many as 1,800 old apartment buildings in Norway's capital pose a fire risk and fail to meet modern safety regulations, Oslo Fire and Rescue Service recently warned. 

Half of Oslo's old apartment blocks don't meet fire safety regulations

In total, there are around 3,500 apartment blocks categorised as 1890 buildings. These are buildings built between 1860 and 1930. Half of these buildings could pose a significant fire risk and don’t meet modern regulations, broadcaster TV2 recently reported

“The probability of deficiencies is very high. In 99 percent of the inspections we have already carried out, there have been deviations (from the regulations),” Patrik Czajkowski, team leader for the apartment building team in Oslo Fire and Rescue Service, told TV2. 

Compared to modern building standards, these older blocks typically allow fires to spread quicker and lack steel fireproof doors, automatic fire alarms, or extinguishing systems. 

“The buildings that have not been upgraded are less equipped for a fire. All the measures that should be in place and could reduce the risk of fire are not present” Czajkowski explained. 

Around 1,700 of the city’s 1890 buildings have been upgraded to meet modern fire safety regulations, according to Oslo Municipality

Tenants and homeowners in Oslo can check with the chairperson of their apartment board about the building’s fire measures. An apartment building’s chairperson is responsible for ensuring the building’s fire safety is up to scratch.

The National Association Of Homeowners said a lot of work had been done to improve fire safety in general over the past few years. The association added that making older buildings more resilient in the event of a fire was a more cost-effective process than people may have realised. 

“People think it is expensive, but when they complete the project and see that they actually have the opportunity to survive a fire, I think most people think it is well-spent money,” Anders Leisner, head of the legal department at the association, told TV2. 

However, Leisner said that it can be challenging to motivate associations to spend money on fire safety if they haven’t been ordered to do so. 

“They are subject to several costly requirements, such as replacing front doors and plastering the basement and attic. It can reach millions of kroner, especially in apartment buildings with a small size,” the lawyer said.