House Hunting in … Oslo

This condominium in an 1898 building in Grunerlokka, one of the trendiest boroughs in Oslo, was renovated in 2006 to create a flexible layout that could be reconfigured to accommodate as many as four bedrooms.

The apartment, on the second of four stories, has two and a half baths, 860 square feet of space, and several non-load-bearing, easily moveable walls with permanent flooring underneath, to facilitate different layouts. It is currently configured with two bedrooms. Two other spaces that could potentially be bedrooms are in use as a living room, and a nursery and a walk-in closet.

The main entrance door has a chalkboard surface, added for the current owner’s children. The large entrance hallway leads to a private guest bedroom and adjoining bath, as well as the half bath, the kitchen and the living room.

Most of the flooring is treated seven-inch-wide oak plank. The hallway and bathrooms have under-floor heating, while the rest of the apartment has electric heat with radiators.

All the bathrooms have fixtures by the German bath fittings manufacturer Grohe. The half bath also has colorful retro wallpaper by the Finnish designer Sandudd, as well as thick glass tiles with backlighting.

The spacious Danish design kitchen by Kvik has glossy black cabinets and laminate countertops, as well as Bosch appliances including an oven, an induction stove, a stovetop hood, a double refrigerator and a dishwasher. The backsplash is black-flowered wallpaper covered in glass; lighting is by the Danish company Nordlux. Off the kitchen, a 40-square-foot balcony, with southern exposure, overlooks a common courtyard at the back of the building, which has a patio, furniture and barbecue equipment for residents.

Of two adjoining living rooms, one has a modern wood-burning stove by the German manufacturer Austroflamm and black faux leather wallpaper by the French company Elitis. A nursery off the living area has a built-in crib designed by the owners, made partly with crates originally used by the Norwegian soda maker Asina. From the living area, a walk-through closet leads to the master bedroom and en-suite bath. The bedroom is carpeted, and has sleek bedside lamps by Nordlux. The bath has a washer-dryer hookup, a shower and a tub. Lining the tub walls are shiny bronze tiles by the Italian company Ceramica Monica; fiber-optic lighting creates a “starry sky” over the tub, said Lars-Erik Lindgreen, a partner with Aktiv Eiendomsmegling, the agency with the listing.

Grunerlokka, once a working-class factory neighborhood, is now the trendiest part of the East End of Oslo, popular with young people who enjoy everything from wine taverns and microbreweries to delicatessens and diners, along with clothing stores. This apartment is on a quieter street called Seilduksgaten (named after a sail factory on the street that is now an art college). The center of Oslo is about a 15-minute walk, but other amenities are closer by, among them grade schools, several large parks and good public transportation on trams and buses. This condominium does not offer parking, but street parking and garages are nearby, Mr. Lindgreen said. Oslo’s international airport in Gardermoen is about half an hour away, more during rush hour, he said.

Norway is one of the few parts of Europe left relatively unscathed by the global economic downturn of 2008, agents said. Home prices in Oslo hit their peak in the summer of 2007, and although they dropped 6 to 20 percent in 2008, they had fully recovered by the beginning of this year and have now surpassed 2007 levels.

“We bounced back very quickly,” said Christian A. Aamodt, chief executive, broker and partner with the real estate firm Eie. “We have a very solid economy in Norway because of the oil and gas industry.”

For the past year and a half, the Oslo residential market has been low on inventory, with apartments selling easily, Mr. Aamodt said. Typically, demand is met when there are about 3,500 homes on the market, but there have only been about 2,000, even fewer at times, he said.


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