OSLO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Norwegians use less than 20 percent of their disposable income on real estate, much less than their Nordic neighbours, Norway's leading business newspaper DN reported Monday.
"The prices have increased a lot, but still only a small part of Norwegians' income goes to real estate. It is very interesting that this persists," said Mari O. Mamre, an economist of the Ny Analyse institute in Norway.
Norwegians use only 17.6 percent in average of their disposable income to cover their housing expenses. Danes, on the other hand, use 24.5 percent, according to a new report made by research company Oxford Research.
"We have a population with good welfare and purchasing power, compared to other countries. That is why the prices should be higher here," Mamre said.
The report also showed that 63 percent of Norwegian real estate are freehold units, while the numbers in Denmark and Sweden are much lower, 50 percent and 39 percent respectively.
"There are many in Norway who have possibility to own real estate. With that ownership comes big freedom. One has possibility to rent it out and sell it further on the free market, which is not the case in other countries," Mamre said.
With the current rate, Norwegians pay in average 1,669 kroner (197 U.S. dollars) per square meter for apartment rent annually. Swedes and Danes need to pay 972 and 1,159 kroner respectively.
That means Norwegians pay 83,450 kroner annually for rent of a 50 square meter apartment, while in Sweden they need to pay 48,600 kroner. In Denmark this would cost 57,950 kroner annually.
"The main reasons are high incomes and low residential taxes. It shows also how cheap it is to own a real estate in Norway, compared to the other countries," Mamre said.
In Norway rental housing makes 23 percent of total real estate, which is much lower than in other countries. In Germany, for example, this number reaches 52 percent, DN wrote.