Seven years ago, Chadi Nseir moved to Tromsø. Despite having a permanent job, he struggles to enter the housing market. Now he is thinking of moving away from the city due to the high housing prices.
- Ida Sophie Skinlow Seater (in Tromsø)
Real estate prices are rising faster than wages. Nosair says it’s a real challenge.
Despite a fixed salary of around NOK 40,000 per month, it is not easy to save money for your home when prices are rising.
– I wasn’t good enough to save, but I’m going to start now. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy,” Shadi Noseir says.
They traveled with their friend Khalil Wannous to an informational meeting about the new apartments at Overkroken. The municipal council approved 470 homes in Overkroken in January this year. Shortly thereafter, Bonord launched Tromsø’s first “lease-to-own” model.
Nosair believes the model could make it easier for him to enter the housing market.
It seems the time has come to own after seven years of renting, says Nosair.
Naseer, who is of Syrian origin, says he had hoped to return to his homeland, but was beginning to see that was not a possibility.
– I hoped that things would calm down in my home country, but unfortunately it did not. Now I want to buy an apartment, but I don’t know if it will be in Tromsø or in another city.
200 hours a month
Wannous is also from Syria. He moved to Tromsø at the same time as Nusair. He says it was difficult to enter the housing market without the support of the family.
– We see that many people live with their families until they save enough stocks. We didn’t get the same chance. This was another reason why it was difficult to get into the housing market, says Wannous.
In 2017, Wannous had two jobs to make ends meet. He tells us about several years when he worked 200 hours a month.
Three years later, he was finally able to break into the housing market.
– Housing prices fell during the spread of the Corona virus, and then I got a good price, according to him.
Wannous now works in the municipality of Tromsø and in the Storgata encampment.
– The days can be long, it’s not just a seven-hour workday, says Wannous, who adds that he feels good in Tromsø.
The plan now is to buy a new apartment to avoid having to take an extra job.
– I want to buy another apartment where I can live in order to rent out the old one. If you look at the prices in Tromso, you will see that the average rental price is NOK 14,000 per month. He says: I think it’s a good investment.
Wannous, who works an average of 10 hours each day, says it is still difficult to raise enough capital.
– Takes a long time to memorize. Everything is very expensive, like electricity and food.
He explains that with today’s housing prices in Tromsø and high interest rates, he can’t imagine buying an apartment larger than two rooms.
– If you want to buy a four-room apartment, we are talking about five to six million kroner. I can’t buy, even with two or three jobs. He says it’s completely wild.
The friends went to the meeting on Tuesday evening to find out how much the rent-to-own would cost.
– It’s interesting to be at the meeting, but I need time to think. Nesser says, I’ll think about it.
He says he has a brother in Oslo, and is considering buying an apartment with him. This is back and forth.
– But in Tromso I feel better than in Oslo. It will be easier, of course, when there are two of you. Nesser says: We’ll see.
They are satisfied with the response they have received to the housing project, says Ruth Norström-Angelsen, property manager at Bonnord.
– We have listed houses in Øvre Kroken during a period when there was a decline in the new construction market. We still think the reception for Øvre Kroken has been very good, she says.
Angelsen says they’ve already sold 60 percent of the first sale phase, 31 of the 56 homes, and plan to start construction. They are ready to bring the second construction phase to market.
“Normally, we wouldn’t put in the second construction phase before the summer holidays, but the response is good,” she says.
She continues, saying that there are many young people who have shown interest in the project and have bought a house in Bonord.
– There are no two-room apartments left in the first sale phase, but there will be 12 two-room apartments in the second phase. We think car sharing schemes are a good offer for young people. They usually cost between NOK 375,000 for a garage space and NOK 300,000 to NOK 400,000 for a car. Now you can instead share the car or take a bus to the center directly from Soltunet, she says.
At each stage of the project’s sale, there are five apartments that are rented for the purpose of owning, as 10 percent of the entire project is rented for homes that are rented for the purpose of owning. In the case of rent-to-own, the family has the right to purchase the house at the same price as it was at the beginning of the lease.
Engelsen explains that an increase in interest rates will not affect the prices of those who have already entered into an agreement.
– This also applies to the agreed rental price. The interest rate increase will only affect any unsold rent-to-own in relation to price changes in the future, but not those who have already entered into an agreement and those who take advantage of the opportunity presented in our new sales step. She says it feels safe.
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