Norway is situated in the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. It extends about 1,100 mi (1,770 km) from the North Sea along the Norwegian Sea to more than 300 mi (483 km) above the Arctic Circle, the farthest north of any European country. It is slightly larger than New Mexico. Nearly 70% of Norway is uninhabitable and covered by mountains, glaciers, moors, and rivers. The hundreds of deep fjords that cut into the coastline give Norway an overall oceanfront of more than 12,000 mi (19,312 km). Galdhø Peak, at 8,100 ft (2,469 m), is Norway's highest point and the Glåma (Glomma) is the principal river, at 372 mi (598 km) long.

Norwegians, like the Danes and Swedes, are of Teutonic origin. The Norsemen, also known as Vikings, ravaged the coasts of northwest Europe from the 8th to the 11th century and were ruled by local chieftains. Olaf II Haraldsson became the first effective king of all Norway in 1015 and began converting the Norwegians to Christianity. After 1442, Norway was ruled by Danish kings until 1814, when it was united with Sweden, although retaining a degree of independence and receiving a new constitution in an uneasy partnership. In 1905, the Norwegian parliament arranged a peaceful separation and invited a Danish prince to the Norwegian throne, King Haakon VII. A treaty with Sweden provided that all disputes be settled by arbitration and that no fortifications be erected on the common frontier.

Norwegian Government Information

Norway in Europe including links to Norwegian Government and Tourist Information sites.

Housing is extremely expensive in Norway, and prices are continuing to rise, with an average increase of 10% between 2005 and 2006. Oslo and the other main cities have the highest housing costs, while the rural areas offer more inexpensive accommodation, built to a good standard.

Although prices are high, Norwegian houses are generally built to a very high standard of construction and are well-insulated and heated. A high percentage of the Norwegians live in detached houses, and it can be quite difficult to find simple, inexpensive housing.

Individuals and entities of all types are legally entitled to own, occupy, and invest in property.

Normally a property is sold to the highest bidder after a round of bids which may take some time. A closing date for a bid is rarely set and the seller may accept an offer whenever it suits him.

Requirements: The buyer must have Norwegian identity in the form of a national ID number or a national organisation number if the buyer is a firm.

Foreign private individuals or firms therefore need to acquire a Norwegian identity to be registered as an owner. This can be done by acquiring a “D number” from the Population Register in the municipality where the property is located. Such a D number is given when the person or company in question submits the necessary identification documents from their own countries.

When acquiring agriculture land, or a large commercial property, it will also be necessary to apply for a licence. The licence terms are the same for Norwegian nationals and firms as for nationals of or firms with registered office in the EU. The fee for applying for a licence varies between NOK 750 and NOK 15,000, depending on the contract amount.

Purchase Procedure: It is not a requirement to use a solicitor for property purchase in Norway and estate agents usually attend to the process as part of their service.  However if you are a foreign resident it may be in your interests to consult one especially if you do not speak the language.

Norwegian estate agents are entitled to conclude the whole real estate transaction without the assistance of a lawyer. In Norway, estate agents are also in charge of the financial settlement and for registering the deed in a central, state register. To run an estate agency in Norway, the estate agent must be insured for at least NOK 10 million to cover any liabilities the buyer or seller may incur in the course of the transaction.

Estate agents normally charge a percentage of the purchase price as their fee. If an agent is not used when buying a house, the buyer is required to ask an authorised independent valuer to assess the value of the property. It is necessary to check with the land registry to ensure that there are no encumbrances on the property you wish to buy, and legal assistance should also be sought to help draw up the sales contract, if an estate agent is not used.

Due to climatic conditions in Norway, defects in a property will often have great consequences. A defect could be that the property differs materially from the description in the prospectus or that seller/estate agent has withheld information. In both these cases, the buyer will normally be entitled to claim a price reduction or compensation within five years from the time of taking possession of the property. However, the condition for this is that a complaint is made as soon as the buyer becomes aware of the defect and files a claim form within 12 months if the flaw or defect was discovered two years or later after taking possession.

The sales contract, the first step, is very important in the acquisition process. It guides the whole procedure and also protects both parties in case of breach of contract (remunerations in such cases are specified in the contract). This document is drawn up and later kept by the agent.

During the signing of the contract the seller issues the deed to the buyer. The deed will be kept by the agent until its registration (the final step).

Upon registration, a certified copy of the land register is issued by the registration authorities. It shows the name of the title owner, and any encumbrances attached to the property.

It only takes an average of one day to complete the single procedure needed to register property in Norway.

Taking possession is a formal, legal act. What is noted down in the protocol signed by both parties on take over which will be of great significance if any problem should later arise in connection with the property. A non-Norwegian buyer should always be assisted by a Norwegian professional when taking possession, so as to avoid risking the loss of rights.

Fees/Taxes: The fee for registering a title deed is around NOK 2000 and for registering a mortgage secured on the property around NOK 2200. In addition the purchaser must pay a stamp duty of 2.5% of the property purchase price.



Holiday Homes: If a private person owns a holiday home in Norway, he will have to pay a tax of 2.5% of the property’s assessed value. 2.5% of the assessed value will be considered and taxed as income.  For primary homes, there are no such taxes.

If a holiday home is exclusively used for letting, it will be considered a business activity, which entails a tax of 28% of the profit. When a holiday home is sold, the profit will be tax-free if you have owned the property for more than five years and have used it during this period as your own holiday home. If you have not owned it for five years or have not used it yourself, a 28% tax on the profit will be payable.

Rental Market: Yields for properties in Oslo range from 3.6% to 5%. Properties in Bergen and Fjords areas have similar yields, at 3.9% - 4.2%.

Properties in Oslo can cost you around €5,000 to €6,700 per sq. m., depending on the size of the property; monthly rents are around €750 to €2,400. Bergen and Fjords’ rental markets offer a cheaper alternative, with properties costing €2,200 to €3,500 per sq. m. and monthly rents ranging from €450 to €1,200.

Map of Norway


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Disclaimer: This guide is for information only and should not be relied upon as definitive. Details have been obtained from various sources and although we have done everything possible to ensure that it is correct, we cannot accept responsibility for it or guarantee its accuracy. This is because processes and laws change frequently, and may also vary dependant upon personal circumstances. You are welcome to use the information provided, but should always obtain confirmation of specific details and get independent specialist and legal advice in the country that the information refers to.