March 5, 2018 / 10:28 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Norway's housing prices rose 0.4 pct S/A in February

(Adds quotes, analyst, currency)

OSLO, March 5 (Reuters) - Norwegian seasonally adjusted housing prices rose by 0.4 percent in February from January, a real estate industry association said in a monthly report on Monday.

On a year-on-year basis prices fell by 2.3 percent in February, Real Estate Norway added.

Tighter mortgage regulations, lower population growth and a boom in construction have all contributed to a fall in prices from a peak in March of 2017.

Norway’s crown currency strengthened on the news, trading at 9.6180 at 1020 GMT against 9.6250 just ahead of the 1000 GMT release.

“Developments in February confirm a trend from recent months that the market is stabilising. Even if the start of the year has been weaker than normal, prices are no longer declining,” Chief Executive Christian Vammervold Dreyer said.

“It looks like the market has gained a better balance in many cities than we’ve seen for a long time,” he added.

Unadjusted prices rose by 1.1 percent in February from January. The housing data was compiled by Real Estate Norway, FINN and Eiendomsverdi.

Nordea Markets economist Erik Bruce said the seasonally adjusted increase was marginally stronger than the central bank had anticipated.

“Today’s figure is in line with the view that the housing downturn in Norway is soon over. On the margin an argument for higher rates,” Bruce wrote in a note to clients. (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, writing by Terje Solsvik, editing by Ole Petter Skonnord)

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