Reports 2018/13

Housing and housing conditions in Norway

This publication is in Norwegian only.


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This report describes the housing conditions in Norway, with a special focus on groups that are particularly disadvantaged. The analyses are based on data from Statistics Norway’s surveys on living conditions (EU-SILC) and on the Register of households and Dwellings.

The housing ownership rates in Norway have been stable, and are high compared to other Western European countries. Housing ownership is studied in chapter 2. We look at the development in ownership rates over time and how they vary between different population groups. Since the beginning of the 1980s, approximately one in three households have owned the dwelling they live in. Economically disadvantaged groups have a lower ownership rate than the rest of the population and the gap has increased since the beginning of the 21st century. These groups include people with low levels of education, low income and recipients of social assistance and dwelling support.

In chapter 3 we look at housing economics. One in four Norwegian households have high housing costs compared to their income, and one in three households consider the housing costs to be burdensome. Nevertheless, only a small minority has problems paying housing costs. The proportions with housing-related economic problems are relatively high among tenants, economically disadvantaged groups, single person households and single parents. We also show that most young home buyers finance the purchase with a mortgage, and that half of home buyers aged 20-29 receive financial assistance from their parents when buying a dwelling.

Housing standard and living environment are studied in chapter 4 and 5 respectively. This includes type of building, crowded dwellings, problems with damp or rot and access to safe surroundings. These aspects of housing conditions are crucial to well-being and quality of life, and there is a clear correlation between socio-economic status and these indicators on housing conditions. Problems related to housing conditions and local environment are especially prevalent among low income households, single parents and the young. A relatively high share of families with children live in crowded dwellings, but they live in safer neighbourhoods than other households.

Most people are satisfied with their dwelling and local environment. Nevertheless, we find in chapter 6 that economically disadvantaged groups, tenants and recipients of social assistance and dwelling support are more often dissatisfied with their dwelling. Low satisfaction with the dwelling is also linked to problems such as noise and poor housing standards.

In chapter 7 we look at the accumulation of housing problems in the population. We find that in general, those who experience challenges in one area have a higher chance of having other housing problems. A larger proportion of those living in the largest cities have an accumulation of housing problems than those living in less central areas. Young people, single parents, tenants and low-income households also have more housing problems than the population in general. We have also compared our measure of accumulation of housing problems with a widespread definition of being ‘disadvantaged in the housing market’. The analysis shows that a larger proportion of the disadvantaged have an accumulation of housing problems compared with other households. Nevertheless, many of the disadvantaged do not have any housing problems, while some that are not disadvantaged according to this definition experience an accumulation of housing problems.

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