More look at fixed interest rates

New notes Interest Rates, Norges bankNew Norwegian bank notes. Photo : Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Prospects of higher mortgages – more look at fixed interest rates

The core interest rate is kept unchanged for a while yet, but experts expect mortgages to become more expensive anyway. The major banks report of greater interest in fixed interest rates.


– Historically, about 1 per cent of our customers have signed a fixed interest rate agreement. In March, this figure rose to 15 per cent, says head of customer service in Nordea, Øistein Gamst Sandlie, to NTB.

– On some days, every other phone at customer service for loans can be about fixed interest rates, says Sandlie, who states that most people choose to bind the rate for three years at a time.

The DNB also notes a certain increase in requests for fixed interest rates on the whole or parts of the loan.

– There is a lot of attention on fixed interest rates now, and it is not unnatural that requests will increase in the time to come, says communications consultant in DNB, Cecilie Skjennald, to NTB.

Unchanged interest rate

The Board of Directors of Norges Bank on Thursday elected to keep the core interest rate unchanged at 0.5 per cent, as was expected.

– The outlook and risk picture does not seem significantly changed since the previous monetary policy report. This means keeping the key rate unchanged at this meeting, says CEO of Norges Bank, Øystein Olsen.

The key interesst rate has been at a record low of 0.5 per cent ever since March 17th, 2016. Norges Bank however maintains its assessment from earlier this year that it will most likely be adjusted after the summer.

– The economic resurgence continues and capacity utilization in the Norwegian economy is approaching normal levels, Olsen stated in the previous monetary policy report.

– The underlying inflation is lower than the target, but the driving forces indicate that it will increase, the Chief of the Central Bank maintains.

More expensive mortgages

Banks can increase mortgage rates in the future, even though the key rate remains unchanged at the moment. This was the conclusion of the experts before Thursday’s monetary policy meeting.

– When the cost of the banks now goes up, we expect that they may push some of that on to their customers, leading to customers getting higher interest rates on their mortgages, says chief economist in Handelsbanken, Kari Due-Andresen, to NRK.

Cheap nonetheless

Although interest rates may be on the rise both in Norway and internationally, experts are of the opinion that it will be cheap to lend money for a long time yet.

– Despite the interest rate hikes, real interest rates appear to remain at a low level for the next three years, Statistics Norway (SSB) wrote in March.

CEO in the Norwegian Real Estate Association, Carl O. Geving, says little news is good news for the housing market.

– People are beginning to accept that interest rates are increasing slightly from historically low levels. At the same time, it is important that the central bank keeps a steady course and avoids a premature increase in the key interest rate, he says.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today