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Buying a Property in Norway - Complete Guide

Purchase a property in Norway

Updated on Thursday 09th May 2024

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No restrictions apply to foreigners or locals who are interested in buying a property in Norway. If you intend to stay in Norway for a while, buying a property is considered a good business. The real estate agent represents both seller and buyer, and as a general rule, his/her fee is paid by the buyer. There are certain legal provisions to be taken into consideration when purchasing a property in Norway. If you want to own a property in Norway and to avoid the risks implied by this transaction we recommend employing a real estate due diligence service. Through this service our Norwegian lawyers may verify for you if there are any problems with the legal status of the property or if the data provided by the seller were declared in good faith. 

 Quick Facts  
 Specific legislation applicable (YES/NO) The Sale of Property Act. 

Possibility to acquire Norwegian properties by foreigners (YES/NO) 

 Yes, foreign citizens can buy properties in Norway.

Types of properties that can be purchased in Norway 

- for residential use,

- for commercial use. 

Real estate due diligence required (YES/NO)  No, however, our Norwegian lawyers recommend completing this step. 
 Documents to draft for property acquisition

 - identification papers of seller and buyer,

- sale-purchase contract,

- bank statement indicating the payment for the property,

- title deed in the name of the seller,

- certificate of non-encumbrance.

 Financing options availability (YES/NO)

Yes, for both Norwegian and foreign citizens. 

 Special property acquisition programs for foreign citizens (YES/NO)

No. 

 Timeframe to acquire a property (approx.)

1 - 2 months. 

 Fees to consider upon a property purchase

 - legal fees,

- registration fee,

- real estate agent fee (if such a service was used).

 Land Registry registration requirement (YES/NO) Yes. 
 Best cities to buy properties in Norway

- Oslo,

- Bergen,

- Trondheim,

- Stavanger. 

 Residency requirements for foreign citizens buying real estate

 No, foreign citizens do not need residence permits to acquire properties in Norway.

 Possibility to appoint a local representative during the transaction (YES/NO)

 Yes. Our lawyers can assist in this case.

 Property tax rates in Norway

 transfer stamp duty,

- Cadastre registration fee,

- wealth tax,

- annual property tax,

- rental tax (if applicable).

 Support in buying a property in Norway (YES/NO) Yes, we are at your service for real estate purchase procedures. 


How to purchase a property in Norway?

 
Once you decided to buy a property in Norway you should search for a real estate agent to represent you. The first step in the acquisition process of a property is the sales contract. It regulates the whole buying procedure, protects both parties in case of a contract violation and specifies the remunerations implied by the purchase. This contract is drawn by the real estate agent; after being signed by the parties, it is the agent`s responsibility to keep the contract. Our Norwegian lawyers can help you with the elaboration of the sale-purchase document, or they can verify for you the template proposed by the real estate agency of your choice. Our attorneys can identify and prevent you from signing a sale-purchase contract that contains clauses which might be in your disadvantage.
 
According to the Norwegian legislation, the seller has to issue a deed to the buyer when the contract is signed. This deed has to be registered by the Norwegian authorities, who release a certified copy of the property register. This document contains the name of the title owner and burdens attached to the property, if any. The registration procedure of a property in Norway usually takes around three days to complete. Our attorneys in Norway can provide specialized assistance during the process of purchasing and registering a property.
 
If you decide to move here, our immigration lawyer in Norway can help you.
 

Types of properties available for sale in Norway

 
In Norway, there are several types of properties or better said ownership options. They fall into 3 primary categories, namely:
 
  • personal ownership (selveierbolig);
  • properties for rent (leiebolig);
  • apartment in tenant-owned building (borettslag)/ cooperative housing apartment (andelsleilighet), apartment in a housing company (aksjeleilighet).
 
Self-owned property is the most common way to acquire real estate in Norway. On the grounds of freedom of establishment, free movement of persons, and services for EEA citizens, Nordic nationals are eligible to freely purchase houses and apartments in Norway.
 
In tenant-owned apartments or cooperative housing, you will rent from a housing association in which you hold a portion as a co-owner. Rent is paid to the housing association, which supports operations and upkeep, and you purchase the right to rent a specific flat.
 
Similar to a housing cooperative, an apartment in a housing business is purchased with the right to rent a specific apartment, but rather than purchasing a share in the cooperative, you purchase a financial portion. Along with the other shareholders, you acquire participation rights and become a co-owner of the housing company.
 
Our lawyers in Norway can advise on how to choose between them, as this could impact you from a taxation point of view. 
 

Buying a property in Norway as a third-country citizen

 
It is possible to buy real estate in Norway even if you are not a citizen of this country. Foreigners are free to purchase houses and apartments in the country without any restrictions. If you have a residency in Norway, you can buy the house immediately. Those looking for a second home in Europe even if they do not hold Norwegian citizenship are also entitled to acquire properties here, which in other parts of the Old Continent is not allowed. From this point of view, the government is very permissive.
 
It is important to understand that owning property will not ease the process of obtaining a visa for immigration to Norway. Depending on where in the country you choose to buy, you might not even have to pay property taxes. For this purpose, you can obtain valuable information from our Norwegian lawyers.
 

Real estate acquisition through mortgage

 
In Norway, most private banks take applications for mortgages. Generally speaking, you can borrow up to three times your yearly earnings, or 85% of the property's cost, with a 20–30 year payback period.
 
If an individual is not a home owner in Norway, they can apply for a mortgage as a first-time buyer. With this mortgage, you can borrow 100% of the purchase price, with a set interest rate throughout.
 
You may also be interested in the property tax system in Norway. The location of your real estate purchase will affect how much tax you pay. Higher density cities usually have a higher tax burden.
 
In the case of Oslo, residential properties are not subject to property taxes. Instead, when you purchase the property, a 2.5% transfer fee will be assessed.
 
Our law firm in Norway can assist with the documents you need to complete in order to obtain a mortgage and become a homeowner in one of the best European countries to live in.
 

What are the costs of purchasing a property in Norway?

 
Property prices in Norway remain accessible to foreign investors. The price modifications may show up, caused by a number of factors such as low interest rates, population increase and strong economic development. When buying a property in Norway, the transaction costs include all buying and re-selling expenses:
 
  • notaries` fees;
  • lawyers' fees;
  • registration fees;
  • taxes and real estate agent`s fees.
 
The agent`s commission ranges between 1% and 2.5% of the purchase price of the property. This fee is paid for properties up to NOK 50 million; an extra 25% VAT tax has to be paid to local authorities.
 

Why perform a real estate due diligence in Norway?


Before buying a property in Norway, it is advisable to perform a due diligence procedure. Through the procedure of real estate due diligence our lawyers in Norway offer a detailed evaluation of properties which interest investors for buying or renting. If you intend to purchase real estate in Norway, or to ensure office space to your Norwegian business, then it is recommendable to employ a local attorney for a throughout analysis of the present condition and legal history of the property

The Norwegian real estate market is at the moment in a growth phase with high demand and adequate response from the real estate developers. The buyer may employ a due diligence service which will identify for him the eventual hidden risks behind the sell advertisement of a property. Our Norwegian lawyers can perform as well an analysis of the ownership documents of the property and a check in the Norwegian legislation regarding inheritance in order to make sure that your investment is a safe one. 
 
Depending on the options of the client a due diligence service in Norway can in certain conditions present as well an overview of the surroundings of a property. A green environment and a safe city area may be important factors in the calculation of the worth of a property. Moreover, additional spaces such as garages or gardens need sometimes a professional analysis in terms of value and legal status. Our lawyers can provide due diligence services for residential as well as commercial properties to clients interested in buying a property in Norway..  They can also perform a company due diligence procedure for clients interested in buying a Norwegian company or merging with one. 
 

Real estate due diligence services offered by our Norwegian lawyers 
 

The real estate due diligence procedures in Norway imply a series of steps in which our Norwegian lawyers can investigate in detail the properties’ documents and its legal status. One of the main aspects in the focus of our consultants is whether the seller is involved in cases of bankruptcy or if the documents have authorised certification. Our attorneys can as well verify whether the seller has any criminal record or has been involved in litigation procedures with the Norwegian courts. 
 
Especially if you intend to carry out an important real estate transaction, our law firm in Norway can provide a complete real estate due diligence service in order to determine the value and the flaws of the property of your choice. 
 
 

Real estate market indicators in Norway

 
According to recent information, the Norwegian market has been having fluctuations in terms of property prices and from a construction point of view. Price drops, however, will enable you to choose to buy a property in areas like:
 
  • Akershus excluding Baerum where the prices dropped by 1.75% in the first months of 2023;
  • Vestfold and Telemark and Viken where the property prices lost 1.46%;
  • even in Oslo, where a 0.68% drop was recorded.
 
You can contact our law firm in Norway in order to determine whether the property acquisition is a good investment for the future and for legal assistance during the process of buying a property in Norway. Feel free to address our attorneys in case of divorce in Norway after acquiring a property.