|Housing sales slow down|
| [30.08.2007, 11:04pm, Thu. GMT]|
|Signs are emerging that Norway's hot housing industry is beginning to cool off. Sales of new homes, mostly condominiums, fell nearly 17 percent during the second quarter and resales are down as well. New home sales plunged 16.7 percent last spring, compared to the same period in 2006, according to figures from homebuilding association Boligprodusentenes Forening. Real estate brokers are also reporting a marked decline in housing resales, and that "the temperature is falling" in the housing market.Johan Christian Falchenberg of Selvaag-bygg, one of the Oslo area's biggest homebuilders, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that the market is "much calmer" now than it was just a few months ago.|
Falchenberg said Selvaag was "steadily raising prices" at a new condominium project it's building at Løren in Oslo, but since March "we've held prices steady in line with the market situation."
Some builders blame rising interest rates for cooling off the market. Per Jæger of the homebuilders' association told Dagens Næringsliv that "people are beginning to feel the interest rate increase and are being more careful about taking on too much debt."
Norway's central bank has raised its key lending rate from 3.75 percent to 4.75 percent since March.