What's caused increased costs for housing association members in Norway? 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What's caused increased costs for housing association members in Norway? 
The costs of being in a housing association in Norway are increasing. Pictured is the city of Sandefjord. Photo by Emil Dosen on Unsplash

Norway's largest housing association, Obos, has reported an average increase in monthly costs of around 15 percent for its members in Oslo. 


Housing associations (borettslag) are widespread in Norway and one of Norway's two main ownership types, alongside the traditional freehold. 

These associations come with their own monthly costs that are to be paid on top of the mortgage and any other bills for the home and are called felleskostnader or joint cost. 

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

Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen reports that Obos, Norway's biggest housing association group, has seen monthly joint costs increase by an average of 15 percent in Oslo. 

"Many housing associations have had to increase joint expenses," Thomas Skjennald, a communications director at Obos, told the paper. 

The figures measured the joint costs of member associations between April last year and the same month this year. 

Obos says the cost increase is linked to interest rate hikes and inflation. Inflation affects the joint costs for those in a housing association as it means purchases for the development are more expensive due to rising prices. 

This means expenditure on stuff like furniture for communal areas goes up. The bill for services has also likely increased due to inflation, meaning the cost of cleaning contracts for stairways and hallways or hiring companies to carry out maintenance and repairs becomes more expensive. 


These increased costs are then passed onto residents in the housing association. 

READ ALSO: How to analyse a Norwegian housing association's finances before you buy an apartment

Interest rates increase the repayment size of any debts the housing association has. Most associations have some form of loan to repay to pay for the original building costs or any major renovations or upgrades. 

Members of an association are each responsible for a portion of this debt. This shared debt is the fellesgjeld. Instalments and interest on these debts are paid monthly. Therefore each rate increase translates to higher repayments for members. 



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