April 24, 2018 / 11:08 AM / a year ago

Clear signs of recovery in Norway's new homes sales -Selvaag CEO

OSLO, April 24 (Reuters) -

** “There are clear signs of improvement in the Norwegian market for new homes,” Chief Executive Officer Baard Schumann at Norwegian home builder Selvaag Bolig told Reuters on the sidelines of a housing conference on Tuesday

** “We see it already in Oslo and Stavanger, while other areas are moving along as before,” he added

** The sale of new homes in Norway fell by 17 percent in the first quarter from the same time last year, data from the Norwegian Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) showed

** NHBA head Per Jaeger told Reuters: “It is still too early to conclude, but I’m hoping for signs of a turnaround when we see the sales in April”

** Schumann said Selvaag has sees significantly better sales in Stavanger in the last 3-4 weeks thanks to increased optimism in the oil-producing region

** “In Oslo we are selling a lot of our more expensive apartments at the moment, we see that the buyers are there and are willing to purchase,” he said, adding that smaller apartments are more challenging to sell, as first-time buyers are struggling to secure financing

** “We are basically not opposed to the mortgage regulation, but I think it makes sense to remove the Oslo-specific demands,” Schumann said, referring to mortgage regulation currently under evaluation by the finance ministry (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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