November 17, 2017 / 2:44 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Norway's housing market hopefully headed for soft landing

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OSLO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Norway’s housing market, which has seen declining prices in recent months after rising sharply over many years, could gradually level off, the country’s central bank governor said on Friday.

“Hopefully, there can be a soft landing of the housing market,” Oeystein Olsen told a business conference.

While prices fell through the summer and early autumn, there was a small increase in the seasonally adjusted level in October, while housing starts and demand for new homes has continued to fall.

“It’s always a bit mixed ... In September, we expressed hopes of a soft landing of both prices and construction. We’ve been clear there’s a level of risk, including a downside risk,” Olsen told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

“What concerns us most, is whether developments will impact economic activity via a different level of investment in new homes than what we had anticipated,” he added.

Norges Bank will make its next assessment in a monetary policy report due in December, Olsen added. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)

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