Accommodation in Oslo


Buy house or flat in Oslo


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Property prices in Norway were not as badly affected by the financial downturn as other European countries. Housing remains expensive, but some areas are more moderately priced then others. In the city of Oslo, row houses had the most pronounced increase (up 11.75%) in Norway.

Norwegian Personal Identification Number

To get an ID number, you must first have a residence permit and plan to stay in Norway for more than 6 months. This makes you a resident. You must notify your local tax office personally about your change of address to Norway. They will register you as a resident in Norway, and award you with a Norwegian personal identification number.

If you do not have an ID number and wish to purchase property in Norway, an estate agent will usually assist you in the process.

Estate Agents

It is highly advisable to hire a trustworthy estate agents. Not only will the a good estate agents help you find a property, but they will be familiar with local laws, make sure the price is fair, that the property is owned by the seller, and that there are no debts on it.

In Norway the majority of property sales are conducted through Estate agents who are registered by the Norwegian government. They are entitled to conclude the transaction without the assistance of a lawyer. They are also responsible for the final financial settlement, and registering the deed to the property in the central state register.

Estate Agents, lawyers and banks have direct access to the central state register. This register is updated every day, listing changes of property ownership, restrictions on use, charges and encumbrances etc.

To find an agent, ask friends and acquaintances if they know of any reliable agents. Some business also employ their own agent or can recommend one, so consult your employer as well.
Another option is to check out the Norwegian yellow pages and search for the term "Eiendomsmegling".
When deciding on an agent, make sure they are registered the NEF.

Most agents require their clients to enter into an "estate agent assignment agreement". This will list the agent's terms and conditions and also specify rights and obligations. Make sure you feel completely comfortable and understand all aspects of the contract before signing.

A commission is agreed upon in the estate agent assignment. It is determined in relation on the assignments complexity, marketability and size. For property up to 50 million NOK, the commission will normally be around 1 to 2.5 percent of the purchase price. In addition, the principal must pay 24 percent VAT on this commission. The commission including VAT will thus be between approximately 1.2 to 3.1 percent.

Searching for Real Estate

Looking for homes on the internet is one of the best, and most common ways, of looking for available properties. This gives you an overview of what's on the market as well as gives a scope of price range.

Some of the sites are:

Flats and houses are also posted for sale in the newspapers, mainly in Aftenposten. Look for the sections marked Eiendommer and Eiendomsmarkedet. A list of other Norwegian newspapers can be found at www.norske-aviser.com.

The Contract

This is a legally binding contract that needs to be signed and understood by all parties. It is usually prepared by the buyer's agent and seller's lawyer. A deposit of 10 percent of the purchase price is expected to secure the property.

Due to Norway's weather, properties can suffer hidden damage. If the property differs significantly from the prospectus given by the seller/estate agent, the purchaser will normally be able to claim a reduction of the properties selling price, or compensation within 5 years of taking possession of the property.

Financing

It is common to take out a mortgage (housing loan) that is paid back with interest over a period of 15-20 years. If it is difficult to obtain a bank loan, you can apply for a municipal loan through the housing office in your bydel.

The Housing Bank is a large agency that offers loans, grants and guidance about buying property in Norway. They also get buyers informed about new initiates and developments. For loan specific information, consult http://www.husbanken.no/.

The fee for registering a title deed is around 2,000 NOK. Registering a mortgage bond secured on the property is around 2,200 NOK.

The purchaser must also pay a stamp duty of 2.5 percent of the property purchase price.

Holiday homes are subject to an additional yearly tax of 2.5 percent of the properties assessed value. If the property is to be used exclusively for letting, it will be considered a business and the profit will be taxed at a rate of 28 percent. If sold, the profit is tax free if owned for more than 5 years.

Registering Property

Known as tinglysning, property in Norway is entered into a central registry. The database is updated with information about owner, restrictions on use, charges and encumbrances etc. If a transaction is submitted for registration one day, it will be registered in the database at the latest on the following day.

There is also a GAB register (street, address and building register) where technical data about the property is kept. Here all permits and applications concerning any property will be registered. This database is also constantly updated. In addition, each municipality has a case file on each property.

Update 16/08/2010


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