(Corrects in headline and lead to 34 pct from 33 pct)
OSLO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The sale of new Norwegian homes fell by 34 percent year-on-year in September while housing starts fell by 20 percent, the Norwegian Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) said on Wednesday.
The decline follows a fall in housing prices in recent months as tighter mortgage regulations, slower population growth and a boom in construction during the last several years dampens demand.
So far this year the sale of new homes is down 20 percent from last year while housing starts are up 4 percent from the same period of 2017 as builders work their way through an order backlog built up in recent years.
A month ago the corresponding year-to-date numbers were down 18 percent for sales and up 8 percent for construction starts.
“At the moment we don’t anticipate any improvement in this market ... We don’t see anything encouraging in the feedback we receive from the industry,” NHBA Chief Executive Per Jaeger told a news conference.
Forecasting firm Prognosesenteret separately said it had a “clear expectation” that the government in 2018 would ease restrictions that were imposed at the height of the housing boom and that this could lead to a recovery in demand. (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)