In the first half of 2022, 8,644 owner-occupied apartments were sold in Denmark, down a third from 2021’s tally of 12,947 flats sold by that time, broadcaster TV2 reports based on data from real estate company Boligsiden.
The figure is also slightly down on the number of apartments sold during the first halves of 2019 and 2020. The last year which saw fewer apartments sold during its first six months was 2014.
“Many used the coronavirus pandemic to move house because they had time and opportunity and maybe felt that they were too cramped where they lived,” Mira Lie Nielsen, housing economist at Nykredit, one of Denmark’s major banks and the country’s largest mortgage lender, told news wire Ritzau.
“We didn’t have much else to spend money on so there were many first-time buyers who suddenly had savings,” she said.
“That’s what initiated the extraordinarily large buying activity which has now back to a normal year (level),” she said.
A loss of momentum in the market has been expected and signs have been apparent in recent months, she explained.
“It’s come gradually and the primary reason can be found in significant increases in interest rates during the spring,” she said.
An increase in interest rates has made it more expensive to take out a mortgage.
The trend in sales shows the market has slowed but not stalled, according to Nielsen.
“Now it is starting to be more of a buyer’s market, where sellers also have to realise that if they want to sell they have to lower the prices,” she said.
A further slowing down can be expected in 2023 and 2024, she predicted.
“There will now be a number of years with falling prices on the apartments market,” she said.