The rate of home ownership in Norway stands at 80%, which is incredible. This is despite the country’s fluctuating house prices, which saw an upward shift of 9% in 2022. Luckily, Norway doesn’t restrict foreigners from owning houses in the country, and the process of buying a property here is relatively straightforward.
The average price per square meter of houses in Norway is 51,548 NOK (4,892 USD), representing a 6.7% increase from 2021. The average 120 square meter home is selling for 6,184,800 NOK or 587,116 USD.
The amount you pay for your house in Norway depends on several aspects, including which part of the country it’s located in, its size, and the type. One is clear – housing is very pricey in this country. In this article, we explore house prices in different parts of Norway and how to purchase a home as a foreigner.
If you’re considering moving to Norway or purchasing a second home here, this guide will help you to pick the most affordable location as well.
How much does a house cost in Norway in 2023?
The typical residential property in Norway averages about 120 square meters in size. Taking an average price per m2 of 51,548 NOK, a home will cost you about 6,184,800 NOK or 587,116 USD.
In 2022, house prices in Norway have been turbulent, with some months showing a rise and others a dip. According to the statistics, the average price for a home in Norway was 4,535,711 NOK (430,570 USD) at the end of September 2022.
Here’s the data on house prices in 2022:
As of September 2022, house prices in Norway have increased by 1.9%, with the average price of the home sitting at 4,601,168 NOK mark.
The variation in house prices in different Norwegian regions is shown in this table (September 2022):
|County||Average price per m2 in NOK||Average price per in m2 USD|
The Eastern part of Norway has seen a consistent rise in house prices in towns such as Drammen and Fredrikstad.
Major urban towns in the country, such as Oslo, Gjovik, and Hamar, have also showcased a steady rise in house prices over the past few years.
Different regions in the country react in contrasting ways to the housing market forces. In 2022 here’s how the regions have responded:
- In Hamar m/Stange, the price of housing has adjusted upwards by 1.3%, which is a slight change.
- Kristiansand attracted high prices that saw the rate shift upwards by a whopping 10%.
- Drammen was up by 9.9%, while Tønsberg and Færder followed closely at a 9.7% upward shift
- Asker/Bærum and Follo saw a 4.1% rise.
The most common type of housing in Norway is the detached unit, where the house isn’t adjoined to another. It’s a stand-alone. About 50% of all homes in Norway are single-dwelling houses.
As of 2022, the number of detached units in the country stood at 1.4 million, while shared ones were approximately 700,000.
Besides, you can see the property prices on the largest Norwegian marketplace Finn.no.
Average house prices in Oslo
In 2022, Oslo, the Norwegian capital, has the highest prices on apartments and houses. The average price per residential property in Oslo was about 6.1 million NOK or 6,128,484 NOK (581,770 USD) as of February 2022.
The average price per square meter is 91,013 NOK (8,639 USD). It’s a 5,5% change from last year.
Here is the development of property prices in Oslo in the last 10 years.
As in most cities, the closer you are to the center, the more expensive the housing is. In addition, the western part of Oslo is significantly more expensive than the Eastern part.
Some of the most expensive districts in Oslo are Frogner, St. Hanshaugen, and Sagene, with average prices per m2 of over 100,000 NOK.
You mainly have only two options: to buy a home in the East or West of Oslo. The northern part is occupied by forests, and the Southern part is Oslofjord.
Cheapest house prices in Norway
House prices in Norway vary depending on the region you choose to settle in.
In 2022 the average house price is 4,250,700 NOK which is approximately $400,000. There, however, are some regions in the country where the prices are much lower than the average rate. These are usually more remote areas, with fewer inhabitants.
Urban areas such as Oslo, the capital city, have the most expensive house prices in the country compared to other regions. Yet, there are some surprisingly affordable areas where you can buy a house for under 170,000 USD. We have listed them below:
|Municipality||Average price of the property (NOK)|
|Vestfold og Telemark||1,820,000|
|Haugesund og Karmøy||2,090,000|
|Arendal / Steinkjer / Trøndelag||2,200,000|
Moreover, there are municipalities with the cheapest housing prices in Norway. All of them are located in Northern Norway. Below are the lowest house prices you will ever see in Norway:
- Lavangen: 82,013 NOK
- Sørreisa: 82,713 NOK
- Hasvik: 84,275 NOK
- Karasjok: 84,287 NOK
- Bardu: 84,579 NOK
- Property: 85,120 NOK
- Sørfold: 85,121 NOK
- Vardø: 85,621 NOK
- Lødingen: 85,781 NOK
- Kvænangen: 85,788 NOK
The cost of buying a house in Norway
When buying a house in Norway, you need to take into consideration the extra expenses tied to the property.
To get the overall cost price of a property, you need to factor in these additional costs connected to the property so you can evaluate whether the deal is worthwhile.
Costs associated with buying a house in Norway include:
- Various fees: agent, registration, documents, lawyer
Most municipalities in the country attach a property tax when buying a house. The municipalities charge a property tax of between 0.1% and 0.7% of the house value stipulated by the law.
The rate set depends on whether the house is your primary or secondary dwelling. Mostly, secondary homes attract a higher tax rate than primary ones.
Once you buy the house, you’ll receive a notification from the municipality indicating the tax payable and how they arrived at the figure.
In calculating the amount payable, the municipality has two options. It can use the official Norwegian tax administration’s estimated market value or apply a custom formula to calculate the payable tax.
Norway doesn’t charge VAT on property acquisition and transfer. As such, ensure the clause isn’t included in the contract.
You’ll be expected to pay land registration fees when transferring property ownership.
The amount you pay as land registration fees is determined by the type of property you buy. The amount charged on freehold property differs from the rate charged on buying shares in a cooperative association.
Across the country, property registration fees fall between 430 NOK and 4,000 NOK. Housing cooperatives also charge an extra fee for the change of ownership. This charge is different for every housing association.
A document fee is charged across Norway when buying a house. The amount is remitted to the state and set at 2.5% of the property purchase price.
A document fee is only applicable on freehold properties, which means if you’re buying shares in a housing cooperative or a flat, you’re exempt from this fee.
It’s practically impossible for you to interact with a property seller directly without involving an agent. The agents act as the link between you and the property owner or seller.
The agent’s fee varies from one agent to the next.
In most cases, however, the agent commission falls between 1% and 2.5% of the agreed purchase value.
To be on the safe side, you might consider involving a lawyer to guide you on the legal part of the acquisition. This is necessary as buying a house involves a significant amount.
The lawyer will aid in scrutinizing the legality and validity of the documents attached to the property and carrying out due diligence on the seller. You don’t want to deal with a seller who has filed for bankruptcy. You’ll be covering your tracks just in case they don’t honor their part of the bargain.
You’ll negotiate the fees they charge you based on the services they render.
Upon acquiring a house, it’s noble to take up an insurance policy covering the property. The insurance charge depends on the provider and the coverage you take up.
Some property sellers have a running insurance cover, so it’s imperative to evaluate the figure insurance cost and negotiate or continue with the same provider with the current rate.
You’re at liberty to alter the provider by opting out or renegotiating the terms upon acquisition.
Can a foreigner buy property in Norway?
Anyone can buy property in Norway, including foreigners and foreign companies. Moreover, as a foreigner, you will be able to take out a mortgage, assuming you are living and working in Norway. The required downpayment is usually between 15% and 25%.
However, housing in Norway is considerably more expensive than the prices in other European countries. The high costs are due to several factors, such as:
- The high cost of insulation in houses as Norway is a frigid country due to its geographical location
- The high standards of living, which means few low-cost houses are built
- The high cost of living
- The high wages cost for construction costs eventually reflected in the cost of the house
However, there are some laws that you will need to adhere to when buying a property in Norway, such as residency requirements and other laws that regulate properties and their financing.
Notably, when buying property in Norway, you’ll have to pay property tax regardless of whether you have a residency permit or not.
Since January 2022, municipalities in the country levies property tax whether your home is a primary or a secondary dwelling.
When buying a property as a foreigner, the first thing is to evaluate the condition report and determine if it resonates with the physical status of the property. The seller should provide a report describing the home’s condition, and it’s your duty as the buyer to spot any deviations.
Consider involving a building expert to assist in the evaluation as a professional can help identify flaws in a building more than you could. The expert will also advise on how the deviations could impact your safety.
Most properties and houses in Norway are unregulated. However, a few exceptions exist where owning a property will come with additional responsibilities.
Examples of these include:
- Residency requirement (Bopkilt). This is a special law set by some municipalities. The law requires that the property owner lives in the property for at least five years and not use the property as a cabin or second home or rent it out.
It is used to regulate and lower the price of housing in these areas to prevent wealthy cabin owners from buying cheap housing for use as recreation homes.
- The requirement to farm the land – farmland properties are required to be used for agricultural purposes if you buy the property. This requirement is prevalent for most farms, but it is easy to get around it by renting out the farm area.
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