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PROPERTY

Low number of rental properties available in Norway despite huge demand

Despite massive demand for rental properties, the number of homes on the market in Norway is down significantly compared to last year, recent figures show. 

Pictured is apartments in Aker Brygge in Oslo.
The number of properties for rent in Norway is lower than a year ago. Pictured are apartments in Aker Brygge in Oslo.Photo by Denis Volkov on Unsplash

At the end of June this year, there were 45 percent fewer rental properties on the market compared to the year before, financial newspaper Finansavisen reports. 

“It is a demanding time for those entering the rental market right now. There are simply too few homes on the market,” Jørgen Hellestveit, marketplace director at Finn Eiendom, told Finansavisen.

In Oslo, there are around 40 percent less properties available compared to June last year. Additionally, while there are 30 percent fewer ads for rental properties, Finn, the country’s most popular website for finding property, saw record traffic for listings in July. 

Despite the more limited selection, rental homes are also being snapped up much quicker than last year. Last year, a home was listed for 13, 13 and 12 days in May, June and July before a lease was signed. In the same months this year, properties lasted 10, 8 and 11 days on the market before a tenant was found, according to Finn.no. 

READ ALSO: Eight things to know when renting an apartment in Norway

Property expert Baard Schumann told Finansavisen that those trying to rent are getting a raw deal. 

“The losers (in the property market) are those who come to the city and have to rent. They are not allowed to borrow because of the mortgage regulations and increased interest rates. The first-time tenants really lose, and they don’t get to save either because they have to pay so much in rent,” Schumann said. 

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PROPERTY

The hidden extra costs when buying property in Norway

Buying a home in Norway comes with a few more costs than the list price. Here are some additional outlays you should consider before purchasing a Norwegian house or apartment. 

The hidden extra costs when buying property in Norway

Purchasing a house or apartment is usually the highest value purchase one can make in life. However, with such large figures involved when buying a house, it is easy to overlook some of the more hidden but still pricey costs that you’ll have to cover to make a house your home. 

Below, we’ve listed the most important you need to know about. Some of the costs you’ll need to pay every month when you purchase a home, others can put a serious dent in your budget- or jeopardise the purchase if you overlook them. 

Fellesgjeld

Many homes in Norway, especially apartments in Oslo, belong to a housing association or borettslag. A housing association in Norway is a legal entity similar to a company or business, where buyers purchase a share and get the exclusive right to live in a property within a block. 

That’s because you buy into the housing association rather than the property itself. But, much like a company, housing associations also have overheads and debts. 

Fellesgjeld is the shared or collective debt of the association. The joint debt includes original building costs and renovation works, such as a new roof that have taken place. The instalments and interests are paid monthly. So when buying into a housing association, you will need to consider the joint debt payments as part of the price. 

READ MORE: The key things you need to know about Norwegian housing associations

Felleskostnader

Felleskostnader is the shared monthly repayments on the collective debt that residents of housing associations pay. However, there are a number of other costs included in these monthly repayments, such as municipal fees, porter services, cleaning communal areas and building insurance. 

One more thing to note is that you will need to pay municipal fees wherever you decide to call home. 

Renovation costs 

Fixer-uppers may seem like the best way to grab a bargain, but beware, renovating certain rooms in Norwegian homes can cost an absolute fortune. 

Bathrooms and kitchens in Norway need to have the work signed off by the municipality and be completed by a qualified tradesman- this means you’ll likely need to get the professionals in. Bathrooms, as an example, cost an eye-watering amount to have renovated: between 200,000-300,000 kroner, due to the requirement for them to be done to wet-room standard. 

Dokumentavgift

This is a not-so-hidden cost as plenty of countries have stamp duty. When you buy a freehold property (one that isn’t part of a housing association), you will need to pay 2.5 percent of the purchase price to the state. However, homes in housing associations are exempt from this.  

Banks rarely offer additional financing for stamp duty, so it’s worth taking this cost into account when purchasing the home. For example, a house with a sale price of four million kroner will cost 100,000 kroner in stamp duty- so always save a little bit of budget left over to cover this cost. 

Tinglysingsgebyr

You will also need to pay a land registration fee when purchasing a property. When submitting this online, it will cost 540 kroner. If you prefer not to do things digitally, then you can expect to pay 585 kroner to file the paper form. 

The fee for buying into a housing association is slightly cheaper. Following the land registration, you will need to pay the stamp duty. 

Getting drawn into a bidding war

Plenty of homes in Norway have an asking price where bids will begin rather than a set cost. 

When buying a home, the true cost will likely be significantly above the asking price. 

Getting drawn into a bidding war can increase the price of a house significantly. 

Bids in Norway are more or less legally binding. If you bid outside your means, you could find yourself in trouble. 

To avoid getting pulled into a bidding war, you should consider purchasing a new build- which are sold for a set fee. 

READ ALSO: Six key tips to survive the bidding war when buying a house in Norway

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