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Are poor home sales about to revitalise Oslo's rental market?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Are poor home sales about to revitalise Oslo's rental market?
Will rents in Norway's capital stabilise anytime soon? The Local talks to a real estate industry expert. Photo by Kasia Derenda on Unsplash

Oslo is seeing a notable influx of homes available for rent, driven by sellers struggling to shift their homes. But is this development significant enough to lead to change in the capital's demanding rental market?

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Norway's rental market is once again making headlines - this time for the influx of homes onto the market rather than a supply shortage

Christian Rasmussen, the managing director of the rental platform Hybel, told the newspaper Finansavisen that there had been a 50 to 70 percent rise in rental advertisements compared to the previous year.

During this period, Hybel has seen a total of 1,767 homes advertised for rent, compared to 1,143 during the same timeframe in the previous year, indicating an average growth rate of 55 percent.

The reason for the increasing number of homes becoming available for rent is more home going unsold. This means sellers are temporarily renting them out while they wait for the market to pick back up. 

Geving: Influx of rental homes in Oslo overstated

Not all real estate industry analysts are convinced that the latest developments in Oslo's rental market will stand the test of time.

Managing director of the Norwegian Association of Estate Agents, Carl O. Geving, told The Local that the recent headlines might be somewhat overstated.

"I'm not too sure about it. Maybe it's somewhat overstated. A lot of new homes were sold in 2021, and now the buyers are taking them over.

"One can see that the market is slower now; maybe you need more time to sell a used home, and some people will probably rent it out if it's difficult to sell… However, I'm not sure that these figures are accurate. In my opinion, it's a bit overstated; the situation isn't that bad (that people are renting out properties because they can't sell them)," Geving said.

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Friday figures to reveal potential changes in the market

According to the real estate expert, the new housing statistics that are set to be published on Friday will be a more accurate gauge of whether real change took place in October.

"The situation is special, in a way. Still, we are selling a lot of used homes; volumes are almost at the level they were before the pandemic, in 2018 and 2019. The last housing figures we have are from September, and there, you can see that the time to sell a used home was between 2018-19 and 2020-21 - it wasn't that slow.

"Figures for October might point to a slowdown, that is, that it took more time to sell a property. But I'm not sure of this yet; we have to wait and see what the numbers say on Friday," Geving told The Local.

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Are rents in Oslo going to stabilise?

Taking into account the figures we can see on Finn.no and Hybel, as well as the current market stat in Oslo, is there any chance that rents in the capital will stabilise?

"Hm. Probably in the short term – a short while – yes. In the long term, I don't think so. Construction of new homes has decreased heavily from 2022 to now, and it will probably continue to fall further. In one to two years, you will have fewer apartments coming into the market," he said.

READ MORE: Why Norway’s housing market will struggle in the mid-term

Geving believes the market in Oslo will become less tight as the year draws to an end if supply increases.

"But that will change," he added, pointing to the expected challenges in regards to fewer new homes being built.

The property market in Oslo also sees seasonal bottlenecks, such as during the autumn when thousands of students relocate to the capital for their studies. 

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