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Summary

Macro

  • Unemployment, which rose significantly after the oil price collapse, is now on the decline. Nationally 2.4%, down from the high of 3.7% (NAV)
  • The twelve-month change in CPI was 1.6% in December 2017, 3.5% in December 2018. The Central Bank of Norway expects a figure of 2.3% for December 2019.
  • Interest rates: 10yr SWAP is now 1.60% versus 2.15% at new year. The 5yr SWAP is now 1.58%, down from 1.84%, while the 3-month NIBOR is at 1.61% versus 1.28% at new year.  
  • Spreads: The average bank spread for new five-year property mortgages continues to decline, this being the sixth consecutive quarter in which the margin has fallen. Competition between banks and lower borrowing costs may mean further decline in bank spreads. However, tighter capital requirements may dampen this potential fall in margins.  
  • The Norwegian krone has depreciated in recent months despite several positive signals from the economy, characterised by negative risk sentiment. It will strengthen, but not as much as the interest rate trend indicates. The NOK will likely weaken further this autumn.
  • Oil prices are seeing a rising trend, but they are still below the $86 barrel mark in October 2018. It is trading at about $60 per barrel.
  • Growth in the Norwegian economy has picked up and is experiencing a modest upswing. Growth for 2019 and 2020 looks fairly good. The latest figures from Statistics Norway indicate growth in the Norwegian economy. The Central Bank of Norway's estimates for the coming years look promising.

Transaction market

  • Transaction volume as of the second quarter was NOK 42 billion, distributed across 147 transactions
  • Newsec estimates a total volume of NOK 85 billion for 2019
  • 47% of the transactions are in the Oslo area, 60% including Eastern Norway
  • Percentage of volume as of Q2 2019:

- Office 53% (2018/41%)

- Retail 16% (2018/16%)

- Logistics & Industrial 13% (2018/21%)

- Hotel 1% (2018/2%)

  • Foreign investors represented 33% of the transaction volume in 2017 and 15% in 2018, 5% so far in 2019
  • The retail sector has become somewhat liquid after undergoing a correction
  • Central properties outside the CBD have greatly increased in value and will probably level out somewhat

Yield

  • Prime yield is 3.75% The following changes have been made since the previous quarter:

-        Retail Prime (low) is up 25 basis points to 4.00%

Vacancy

  • Vacancy is levelling out in Oslo and remains at 5.8% from Q1 to Q2 2019
  • We expect a marginal fall in office vacancy in 2019
  • New construction activity is starting to pick up

- 95,000 sqm in 2018, estimates of 164,000 sqm in 2019

- Approximately 37,000 sqm is expected to be converted in 2019, approximately half of it in 2018

Rent levels

Highlights from the rental market in Oslo - Q2 2019:

  • Rental prices continued upwards towards the summer, rising 8% from the first quarter, to 2,410 NOK/sqm
  • The upturn occurred at high volumes, and almost 183,000 sqm (228 contracts) were signed for, up 20% from Q2 2018.
  • The A category was up 12%, to 4,200 NOK/sqm. This is the strongest quarterly growth in this category that we have seen in the past ten years.  
  • The top 5% of the most expensive contracts rose correspondingly, rising as far as 4,910 NOK/sqm, up from 4,440/NOK sqm in the first quarter.
  • Both Vika-Aker Brygge (4,170 NOK/sqm), inner city centre (2,610 NOK/sqm) and inner city (2,250 NOK/sqm) reached historically high average prices.
  • Nydalen and Bryn-Helsfyr were the only areas that saw a fall in rental prices this quarter. Small volumes were signed for in Nydalen, only 7,290 sqm

Source: Arealstatistikk