How to buy a house in rural parts of Norway

Av: Dato: English

Norway is a beautiful country, no doubt about that.   Many foreigners have a dream about buying a house in a rural area in Norway.  On the countryside, by the fjord or ocean and maybe also north of the polar circle.

I have had several inquiries about this and been able to help some of them to fulfil their dream.

However, there are some obstacles, that makes this a little bit more difficult than buying a home or cottage in  densely populated areas.

First of all, the market are a little bit limited.

Many rural homes, especially the less expensive one, are not put on the market very often.  Relatives, that inherit these properties, tend to keep them for themselves.  To use them for holiday purpose or Airbnb for tourists.  This is especially common in the North of Norway.  Some places it is difficult even for young people who want to stay in their home community or move to a small village to buy a house for their family.

The same problem applies for small farms.  It is seldom for sale.  The family keeps them, or they are merged with other bigger farms nearby.

Also many Norwegian are dreaming of buying a small farm, but they tend to wish for objects that are near a city or bigger village.  This increase the demand and the sales prices are quite high.

Even if the market is a bit limited, there are still homes for sale.

But it is important to be aware of some Laws and Regulation that can be connected to these properties.

  • Obligation to live rule. Boplikt
    Municipalities can implement rules these rules. You cannot leave the house empty. You must either live there yourself the whole or part of the year and rent it out for the rest of the year. This is a policy to prevent the creation of ghost towns.
  • Duty to get official permission for owning the house – Konsesjon
    This is very common for agricultural properties. There may be a duty to run agricultural activities.  It is the buyer’s responsibilities to get these permissions after the purchase. It is also a possibility to subcontract the land. But you will never know if this is possible before you are applying for permission to own the property.

The realtor will inform about conditions for the sale in the sales material. It is very important to check out these things very carefully.   I will strongly advise you to seek help from an consultant like me before you give a bi on  a rural property.

Remember – the bid is binding in Norway!

Download my booklet about home buying in Norway

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Why most Norwegians own their own home

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Almost 80% of people in Norway own their own home.

Self-owning has been official policy in Norway since the 1950’ies. During the next decades there was a big development of what we call social housing construction in the whole country.  Organizations like OBOS – the biggest housing cooperative organisation in Europe, and other local organisations were established in most cities.  They cooperated with the municipalities who made plots and areas available.

The State Housing bank gave mortgages to both builders and private people to finance the home building.

The taxation of property has always been very low in Norway, and you also get tax-deduction when you are paying interest on mortgage. (Today 22% tax deduction)

And there are no taxation on the gain when selling your home.

Until 1983 sales prices were regulated.  When the regulations were repealed, there were no way back. From that time, it was all about the market!

The market regulations have functioned quite well for most people.  The prices have been rising and people have been able to use their property values to ” climb up the housing ladder”.

Lately we have seen that some people have not been able to buy their own home, because of the requirements for equity and lack of ability to pay the cost of a mortgage.  Almost 50% of first-time buyers gets help from their parents to buy their own home.  The percentage of self-owners have decreased a little bit lately. And many experts doubt whether we will be able to keep up the big share of self-ownership, what we call the Norwegian Housing model,  in the future. Even if it is a goal for all political parties.

Because of the self-own policy, the rental market is not as safe for tenants as we could wish for.  As a tenant you are depending on renting from private self-owners on a 3-year contract.  And you will not get any of the tax advantages that self-owners have.  Therefore it is not regarded very attractive to rent your home in Norway.

Read about the rental system in Norway here

As a home buying consultant I strongly recommend all people who ca to afford it, to buy their own home.  It is both safe and profitable. It is my impression that people from other countries that settle in Norway, also after some time, are eager to buy their own home. They experience the economic benefits that comes with self owning, and what most of their their Norwegian friends and colleagues do.

Can you trust the bidding and home sale system in Norway.  Find the answer here. 

It is of course not completely without risk buying a home in Norway. The market goes up and down and it is important to buy a property without errors and omissions.  You should have a 3 -5 years perspective on the purchase, and get help to secure that you are paying the correct market price.
And be aware of the buyers duty of inspection.  It is essential that you can read and understand all the sales information.  Therefore, if you are an English speaker, I strongly recommend that you get help from a home buying consultant (like me:)

Want to know more? 

Download my booklet about home buying in Norway. 




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The difference of purchasing projected (not yet build) homes and second-hand homes in Norway

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In Norway, as I guess in many other countries we have to different markets for home buying. The second hand housing market and project or new housing market.

In the second-hand market people’s houses and apartments are sold with the help of real estate agents.  It is also allowed to sell one’s property without a realtor, but 99% is using one.

When it comes to the projected, not yet build homes, they are sold by the builders.  They are using real estate agents too, mostly. They are often specialised in sale of projected homes. Sometimes the builders also use their own employees.

Two different laws are regulating the sale and delivery of the homes:

The Home Building Act (Bustadoppføringslova) for projected homes and the Alienation Law (Avhendingsloven) for the second hand homes.

In addition, we have the Real Estate Law that clarifies the responsibility of the real estate agent.

This means that the sale of properties is quite regulated.  The different laws places responsibility on the seller, either a private person or the builder, the buyer and the realtor.

The laws are so called  consumer laws which are intended to protect the consumer

The projected homes are more expensive (20 to 25%) than the second hand homes, because they are modern and built according to the latest building regulations and does not require maintenance for many years.

When you buy a home that is not yet build you have to rely on the information and illustrations from the builders or their real estate agent.  They often have models and visiting centre where they are showing the standard of the interior, the sun conditions and the view from the apartment.  Or maybe they have a prototype of a house to show you.

If you want to look for a projected property in Norway, you can use this website:

The second hand homes are listed on this website:

Be aware of the buyers duty of inspection

Either you want to buy a brand new home or a second hand home in Norway, you have to be aware that the bid is binding and the buyers duty of inspection.

The home buying in Norway is quite complicated for the buyer and as a buyer you have a big responsibility to check the sales material and the property itself before bidding.  The bid is binding and there are no regrets. This is called the buyers duty of inspection and are regulated by law.  It is valid for purchase of second hand homes as well as for projected homes.

Luckily, I have been working with both  selling and buying of both second hand and projected homes in my 40 year career in the housing industry.  Therefore, I am qualified to help with the purchase of all kinds of homes.  This is a good thing since the approach and legislation is quite different.

The housing market right now (February 2023)

The housing market right now (February 2023) is quite slow compared to the crazy years of the Pandemic.  But second-hand homes are sold quite easily, with slighter lower prices.

When it comes to projected homes there have been an abrupt stop and a number of planned projects have been postponed.

The projected homes are mostly sold to fixed prices, they are no bidding rounds.  But it is not easy to negotiate a lower price.  The builders prefer to sit on the properties when they are finished, and wait for better times.

If the projects are stopping for a long time, it will probably have a bad influence on the second hand market, especially in big cities like Oslo.  Then there is a change that the prices for on the second hand market will rice fast again.

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Interesting news about the housing market in Norway

Av: Dato: English

This September we have seen quite significant changes in the home buying market in Norway.

Therefore I have to write about the market and housing prices – AGAIN.

Hope you are OK with it.

After all, to keep oneself updated on the market is a big factor for achieving a successful purchase!

Two important factors implicate a development towards a buyers’ market this autumn:

  • Decrease in prices with 2,2 % in Oslo – 2,5% in september
  • More houses up for sale in september – 17% more than last year

Falling prices are expected for the rest of the year and probably also in 2023.  Then it will start to increase again according to the forecasts. The sales volume is now back on pre pandemic level.

The reason for the decrease in  prices is obviously the increased mortgage interest and increase in prices on electricity and other living costs.

A buyers’ market is good news if you are buying a home in Norway for the first time.

If you already have a property to sell and want to buy a new one, and your mix of equity of mortgage is comfortable, there is no reason why you should not buy a new home now, if you feel it is needed.

Just remember the rule – Sell and buy in the same market

Timing is everything

Download my booklet about home buying in Norway for free here

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