September 14, 2017 / 11:50 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-Norway's new home sales falls as housing market cools further

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OSLO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Sales of new Norwegian homes fell by 33 percent year-on-year in August while housing starts fell by 4 percent, the Norwegian Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) said on Thursday.

NHBA’s head Per Jaeger said that the steep fall in sales was a worry, with housebuilders struggling to sell homes.

“The market is in balance now with enough supply, and we expect that to stabilise housing prices going forward,” he said.

Norway’s housing market has boomed in recent years, particularly in and around Oslo, with record low rates and as demand for homes outstripped supply.

But the market has cooled down in recent months with a tightening of mortgage regulation.

So far this year the sale of new homes is down 18 percent from last year, while housing starts are up 8 percent.

In the last 12 months, 31,594 new homes were sold nationwide, while construction began on 32,658 homes.

Prognosesenteret, which handles the data for the NHBA, cut its outlook for housing starts permits by 1,000 units in both 2017 and 2018 to 34,000 and 38,000 units respectively.

Reporting by Camilla Knudsen; editing by Alexander Smith

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