Oslo ‘becoming like Manhattan’

The centre of Oslo is “becoming like Manhattan”, according to the leader of the council who claims “only the richest can afford to live” in Norway’s capital city. The comments were made after new figures revealed the rising cost of living in the city; and while the skyline is constantly changing with expensive high rise flats, there are now few affordable places that can accommodate a family.

Speaking to newspaper VG, Conservative Party politician Stian Berger Rosland said Oslo will be “a completely different city” if it continues to grow at its current rate. He added that if the growth of between 12,000-16,000 citizens a year does not slow, the Norwegian capital will end up “like Manhattan, where people come to work but where only the richest can afford to live.”

With between 1,200 and 1,300 new residences being built a year, the number of people wanting to live in Oslo massively outstrips the rate of construction. While small, expensive condos are still relatively easy to find, affordable family homes are scarce, despite estimates that the city will grow by another 200,000 in the next 20 years.

Erling Dokk Holm, of the Oslo School of Management and Institute of Urbanism and Landscape, pointed out that apartments in the city centre have shot up by as much as NOK 3,000 (EUR 385) per square metre since January this year. He added that this could increase to NOK 100,000 (EUR 12,847) per square metre by 2020 if the trend continues.