– It's been a long time since we've had positive glimpses – E24

– It's been a long time since we've had positive glimpses – E24

Obos records its highest sales rate in more than two years. However, the Housing Manufacturers Association believes the new housing market is far from healthy.

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Last week, Obos sold 125 homes, the most sales in a single week since February 2022.

– High sales numbers indicate that there is a great need in the market, and that customers are in a buying mood. In addition, many projects are for sale near occupancy, says Daniel Cureberg Siraj, CEO of Obos, before adding:

– We waited to publish it until we thought customers would be ready.

Siraj believes that interest rate stability over time and low price growth has led to customers returning in general.

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It is good news that Obos is reporting higher sales rates, says Lars Jakob Heim, Managing Director of Boligproduktorenes Forening.

-It's been a long time since we've had positive glimpses. We are receiving cautious signals from many companies that sales are now improving somewhat. But we must remember that we are still at a historically weak level, Hem says.

Daniel Cjorg Siraj, CEO of Obos, says there is reason for optimism given the possibility of housing construction starting again.

More benefits

On Thursday, Obos presents housing price figures for April. In March, Opus prices rose by 2 percent nationally, while in Oslo they rose by 2.3 percent.

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Siraj expects a moderate price trend in the future.

– We do not imagine the wildest development, and the dynamics are slightly different than in the second-hand housing market. He says new home prices are also high in the first place, so it will limit itself a bit.

He also points out that there can be many financial advantages to buying a new home, including more predictable housing costs. If you buy a used home, you can probably expect different maintenance procedures.

-At the same time, you can see that there is a high speed in the second-hand market, and there are often fierce bidding rounds, so buying a new home with a fixed price gives you a calmer buying situation.

Historically low level

The construction industry has been hit hard by rising interest rates and increasing material costs.

New home sales fell 14 percent in March, compared to the same period last year, according to home builders. Figures for the first quarter of 2024 show a three percent decline in new home sales, compared to the first quarter of last year.

The industry should take all the positive news it can get with it, says Lars Jakob Heim, managing director of Boligproduktorenes Forening.

New home sales have long been in free fall, and Lars Jakob Heim has described 2023 as a crisis year for the industry.

Heim points out that the numbers so far this year show stability, and that there is now hope of reaching the bottom.

– At the same time, you have to prepare for the fact that it may be difficult to get out of the negative situation the industry is in, he says.

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– Far from declaring his health

Daniel Kjörberg Siraj at Opus hopes that good sales will now lay the foundation for starting new projects.

– There is reason to be optimistic that new homes can start being built again. Both prices and buyers depend on housing being added to the market.

– Obos has been very aggressive, making construction decisions before the homes are sold. This reduces waiting time, and we believe it can make it easier for people to make a purchase.

Hiim at Boligprodukterene agrees that there is now a very cautious optimism that can be traced. However, it is too early to give up rejoicing.

– The new housing market is still far from healthy yet. He says that even if we get somewhat better signals, help is still needed from the authorities, especially by strengthening the Housing Bank and changing lending regulations.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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