UPDATE 1-Norway's housing prices to have a soft landing-c.bank governor
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BERGEN Dec 9 (Reuters) - Norway's housing prices are expected to fall for a few more months before leveling out and starting to rise slowly again, the country's central bank governor said on Monday.
Norwegian house prices fell for the third straight month in November and annual growth is expected to turn negative in December for the first time since 2009.
"We don't expect a continued strong drop in housing prices. The fall will probably continue for a few more months before leveling out, and then start to tick higher, though more slowly than during the period we've been through," the central bank governor Oeystein Olsen told a meeting of business leaders.
"So in that regard, we expect a soft landing," he added.
The central bank Deputy Governor Jan F. Qvigstad said last week a swing in housing prices by 10 percent was not seen as something "unnatural".
Olsen repeated the similar message on Monday.
"I think many households should cope with and prepare for a drop of 10 to 15 percent (in housing prices) without that being dramatic, and without the Norwegian economy moving into recession, but the uncertainty is great", Olsen said.
"If prices should fall even more... it could lead to a less soft landing for the Norwegian economy than the one we are seeing now," he added.
The IMF recently estimated that house prices in Norway are up to 40 percent overvalued and Nordea, a top lender in the country, said prices could fall as much as 20 percent. (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen and Henrik Stolen; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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