Number of houses for sale in Denmark falls to 16-year low

The number of houses for sale in Denmark is at its lowest level for 16 years.

an estate agent's window in denmark
An estate agent's window in Copenhagen. The number of houses on the Danish market is at its lowest number for 16 years. File photo: Mathias Løvgreen/Ritzau Scanpix

The 21,141 detached and terraced houses currently on sale in the Nordic country is the lowest number since June 2006, according to Finans Danmark, and interest organisation for the financial sector.

Low supply is pushing prices up, with houses on the market at prices an average of 8.7 percent higher than they were one year ago.

High prices are not entirely preventing buyers in Denmark from completing purchases of homes, however.

“Trade activity remains impressively high,” senior economist Jeppe Juul Borre of Arbejdernes Landsbank told news wire Ritzau.

“So the low supply and still-increasing prices are not something that appear to be scaring buyers off,” he said in a written comment.

While the number of houses on sale has dipped to a low point, more apartments are now for sale compared to 12 months ago.

The 5,084 apartments on the market is around 500 more than this time last year.

The overall supply of apartments is still relatively low, however, and prices are an average of 6.6 percent higher than they were one year ago.

“On the private housing market for apartments, future buyers will be pleased that there is a slightly bigger range to choose from than there was a year ago,” Finans Danmark CEO Ane Arnth Jensen said.

“On the other hand, prices are higher now than they were a year ago,” Jensen said.

READ ALSO: Danish government refuses to intervene over soaring house prices

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Denmark opposition wants tax deductions for first-time home buyers 

Denmark’s Liberal (Venstre) party, the largest opposition party, says it wants to make home ownership more affordable in Denmark. 

Denmark opposition wants tax deductions for first-time home buyers 

Under the proposal, first-time home buyers could be given tax deductions on savings set aside for buying a home, newspaper Berlingske reports.

Specifically, would-be homeowners could receive a 20 percent tax reduction on up to 50,000 kroner per year for five years, according to the Liberal plan, which the party is set to present on Monday.

As such, a couple which together saved 500,000 kroner over a five-year period would get a benefit of 100,000 kroner under the proposed tax deduction.

In addition to the tax plan, the Liberals want to spend 100 million kroner yearly building housing, with 122,000 new homes for buyers planned over the next ten years. Municipalities would be given incentives to build more homes with shorter processing times under the scheme.

The Liberals estimate that the savings scheme for first-time buyers would be used by around 50,000 people per year and therefore cost around 1 billion kroner annually.

READ MORE: Danish apartment sales cool to eight-year low  

A reform of job centres and municipal employment services, which the Liberals will also present in the near future, would help to save money which could be spent on the home ownership plan, party leader Jakob Ellemann-Jenses also said in the Berlingske interview.

The Liberals party count with the support of the Conservatives and the Danish People’s Party, although the former party is reported to favour broader tax cuts.

The Social Democratic government opposes the plan. Housing minister Christian Rabjerg Madsen told Berlingske that the proposal would push up house prices in larger cities, forcing people on normal incomes to move away from larger population centres.