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When Norway’s central bank talks about the country’s “rapid rise in house prices”, it’s not joking.

Today, the stats office revealed that the price of new homes jumped by over 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in the previous year.

For flats and small houses, the jump was some 15 per cent on the year, or 5 per cent on the quarter. For detached homes, the increase was more modest: 2.8 per cent on the year and just 0.2 per cent for the quarter.

The central bank held steady on rates last week and signalled that it will probably keep rates at just 0.5 per cent for even longer than previously forecast. Given this pace of housing gains, that struck some observers as surprisingly dovish.

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