Oslo is Norway’s biggest city, and much like most other big cities internationally, the housing market has gotten out of control. It’s getting increasingly more expensive to rent an apartment in Oslo, so what’s the current price for renting in Oslo like?
The average monthly rental cost in 2022 for a 1 bedroom apartment in Oslo is 10,189 NOK, a 2 bedroom is 13,886 NOK, and a 3 bedroom apartment is 17,412 NOK. A bedroom in a shared apartment is on average 6,464 NOK per month.
In other words, renting an apartment in Oslo is very, very expensive! It’s by far the most expensive city to rent an apartment in Norway, and it’s becoming very difficult to afford to rent an apartment on an average salary.
|Average rent cost in 2022||Price in NOK||Approx. $USD price|
|1 bedroom, shared||6,464 NOK / month||$650 / month|
|1 bedroom||10,189 NOK / month||$ 1,000 / month|
|2 bedrooms||13,886 NOK / month||$1,400 / month|
|3 bedrooms||17,412 NOK / month||$1,750 / month|
|4 bedrooms||21,542 NOK / month||$2,150 / month|
|5 bedrooms||24,928 NOK / month||$2,500 / month|
You can find housing that is cheaper than the average
Even though the average monthly rent cost for a single bedroom apartment in Oslo is close over 10,000 NOK, there are some options to get it cheaper. The further you are away from the city center and the western part of the city, the cheaper it gets.
That said, you have to get far out of the city before it comes anywhere close to cheap. So while single bedroom apartments closer to the city could cost around 13,000 NOK per month, finding one at 8,500 or 9,000 is possible if you are fine with a 30 minute bus ride to get to the city center.
Size will affect price
It’s also worth mentioning that the average does not really account the size of the apartment into the mix, it only cares about the number of bedrooms. Bigger apartments will obviously cost more, but apartments are generally very small in Oslo.
The average size for a two bedroom apartment in Oslo is only 50 square meters, and apartments that are over 100 square meters are considered rare.
It’s also worth mentioning that most apartments in Oslo are rather old, and tend to be in pretty bad conditions. Most of the buildings were constructed between 50 and 80 years ago, so they do have some wear and tear. Newer apartments will generally be a lot more expensive than the average!
Students have a hard time finding a place to live
You can only imagine how difficult it is to find a decent place to live if you are a student at either University of Oslo or OsloMet and have to find a place to live with limited money.
Students in Norway get a student loan of about 8,600 NOK per month, so their budget is super tight. So after renting a room in a shared housing for the average rent of 6,500 NOK, they have just 2,100 NOK left. And renting without finding a shared apartment is actually impossible.
It’s also pretty much impossible to have enough money to get by on 2,100 NOK in Norway, especially in Oslo.
This has lead to many students being required to have a part time job when studying in Oslo. It’s just impossible to get by without having one unless you get to live at a student apartment.
Read more: How rent rent an apartment in Norway.
Most students rent single rooms in a shared apartment
The high rental costs in Oslo have lead to most students and people in lower paying jobs living in shared apartments. These are typically 3 – 6 bedroom apartments where 3 to 6 people live together.
Each person rent their own room, and everyone shares the public spaces like the living room, bathrooms and kitchen.
Some shared housing organizes it all themselves by going together as a group of friends and just rent a big apartment, while others simply find an ad to rent a single room in a shared apartment.
Each room might cost differently depending on the size of the bedroom.
This is a great option for students, and makes it a bit cheaper, while also being a lot more social than living all alone in a single bedroom apartment.
Student apartments reserved for active students
There are some student apartments that are owned by the student groups at the different universities in Oslo. These offer more reasonable housing for students that are actively studying at the university, but it is considered very difficult to get one of these apartments.
There are simply far more students than available student housing in Oslo. You need to apply to get one, and not everyone will be able to get one of these.
The cheaper student apartments in Oslo cost around 5,000 NOK per month, but they also have some two bedroom apartments in the 7,000 – 9,000 NOK price range. The latter option is great for a pair students with a child, or a pair of friends, and is far cheaper than any regular 2 bedroom apartment in the city!
How the apartment market in Oslo spun out of control
The history behind the rise in rental cost in Oslo is actually pretty simple, and consist of two parts.
Firstly, Oslo has a huge growth of young people who are moving from smaller cities, towns and villages to Oslo to study or find jobs. These need a place to live, but new apartments are built at a much slower rate than immigration to the city. An increased demand for apartments lead to the prices rising, both for rental apartments and buying apartments.
Secondly, many professional landlords have bought up apartments to rent out. This increased the prices for buying apartments, which again increased demand for renting, and increased renting prices. In essence, a few people and companies are getting rich from the high rental costs, while younger people and students need to pay the price for it.
This isn’t unique to Oslo, and many major cities and capitals have experienced the same phenomenon around the world. It’s really terrible for everyone who wants to move to Oslo and need to spend a premium to live in an old, tiny apartment.
What about buying an apartment in Oslo?
You might be tempted to just buy an apartment in Oslo when you look at the rental prices, but the prices for buying an apartment is just as high.
The average cost for buying a 70 square meter, 2 bedroom apartment in Oslo is just over 6,000,000 NOK ($600,000 USD)!
The average cost for a 40 square meter 1 bedroom apartment in Oslo is around 3,5000,000 ($350,000 USD).
You need to have a pretty decent income if you want to get a housing loan this size, and it’s impossible to get this for most regular people.
You need to have at least 15 % of the money yourself, so a single bedroom apartment requires you to have 525,000 NOK in your bank account just to be eligible to get the loan in the first place.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.