Large variations in rents
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Rental market survey2013


Large variations in rents

Tenants in Oslo including Bærum have on average the highest rents. The Norwegian rental market is known for its diversity, with many different varieties of rental units, which leads to large variations in rents.

Average monthly rents and annual rents per sqm, by price zone. NOK
Average monthly rents Average annual rents per sqm
1Excluding Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, and Akershus.
2Excluding Akershus
Oslo and Bærum municipality 10 120 2 320
Akershus county except Bærum municipality 7 990 1 470
Bergen municipality 8 700 1 850
Trondheim municipality 8 910 2 020
Stavanger municipality 10 040 1 920
Urban settlements with more than 20,000 inhabitants1 7 150 1 400
Urban settlements with between 2,000-19,999 inhabitants2 6 350 1 120
Urban settlements with between 200 and 1,999 inhabitants and sparsely populated areas2 5 700 910

For dwellings with two and three rooms in Oslo including Bærum, the monthly rents are approximately NOK 9 000 and NOK 11 370 as per the 4th quarter of 2013 according to the Rental market survey (RMS). Equivalent rents in Bergen and Trondheim are NOK 6 830 and 8 750 respectively and NOK 7 650 and 9 110 on average. In urban settlements with between 2 000 and 19 999 inhabitants, the rents for dwellings with two and three rooms are NOK 5 350 and 6 460 on average.

Large deviations in the Norwegian rental market

Compared to many other countries, Norway has a relatively small rental market. The rental market is known for its diversity. No rental units are the same. The units differ according to size, type of dwelling, material standard and geographic location. This is reflected in the RMS statistics.

The most typical rental units according to the RMS are two-room dwellings of about 50-80 sqm, but the variation is large, from below 30 to almost 100 sqm. The large variations in sqm are also reflected in the other rental units. The rental units vary from small rooms of 10 sqm to large detached houses of 250 sqm.

Private persons acting as landlord most common

The rental market in Norway is also very diverse with regard to who lets the dwellings. Private persons acting as landlord is the dominant category, but also professional letting agencies form an important group. In Oslo including Bærum these two segments make up almost 75 per cent, but here the agencies/the professional companies are the largest group. The survey shows that there are, in total, small differences between the rent levels of these two categories, if we control for many of the factors affecting the rent levels.

Rental units of municipalities and student organisations make up about 15-20 per cent of the rental market in the main cities of Norway. These rents are lower compared to the rents of the private landlords. Furthermore, the more informal part of the rental market, where the landlord knows or is related to the tenant, has lower rents.

Tenants mainly between 25 and 45 years

The rental market survey shows that 75 per cent of the tenants are below 45 years, with the majority between 25 and 45 years. When comparing the length of the tenancy with age, we see a higher share of long-term tenancy agreements among the elderly compared to the younger part of the population.

There is a high mobility in the rental market. About 50 per cent of the tenancy agreements in the RMS started in 2012 or 2013, and only about 10 per cent started before 2007. The length of the tenancy has a large effect on the rent. The average for tenancies from 2012 and 2013 shows a monthly rent of NOK 8 360, while the average for the oldest tenancies is NOK 6 180. There are clear geographical differences, with a higher share of shorter tenancies in the larger cities compared to less populated areas.

Rent dispersion also within the large cities

If we only consider the private, “non-subsidised” market, we see large variations in rents, also within the large cities. The rent of a two-room dwelling of 60 sqm situated in the western part of Oslo is estimated at about NOK 10 600, but the rent depends on the material standard, the length of tenancy, where exactly the dwelling is situated, on which floor, whether or not a balcony, garage space, furniture, heating and electricity are included etc. All other factors being equal, the rent of a dwelling in the eastern part of Oslo is estimated at around NOK 8 900.

Figures from the RMS are not comparable from year to yearOpen and readClose

The figures are not strictly comparable from year to year, and the RMS is not intended to present rent changes over time. The RMS measures rent levels based on independent samples each year. Thus the letting objects may vary with respect to variables that determine rent levels. Data was mainly collected from online questionnaires in 2013. The share of elderly in the sample is somewhat lower in 2013 compared to earlier years.