January 23, 2019 / 10:23 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Norway's new home sales seen rising after weak December

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OSLO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The sale of new Norwegian homes fell by 10 percent year-on-year in December while housing starts rose by 25 percent, the Norwegian Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) said on Wednesday.

For the full year, new home sales were down 1 percent, while housing starts fell by 4 percent, it added.

“We expect housing starts and new home sales to end up around the same level this year as in 2018, but for that to happen, new home sales will have to improve going forward,” Managing Director Bjoern Mangor Birkeland of forecaster Prognosesenteret said.

The builders expect housing starts and sales of around 28,000 in 2019, while the 12-month rolling averages for December were 29,496 and 27,368 respectively.

“We see a positive tendency and expect some growth in new home sales in the coming months, although the global economic uncertainty makes it hard to forecast,” Mangor Birkeland said.

“Right now there is no indication of a crash in the Norwegian housing market,” he added. (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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