Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions 


Icelandic words explained 

Selected Icelandic words explained in various languages. 

Buying property

Foreign nationals who are legally domiciled in Iceland may own residential property in Iceland. They can apply for a loan from the Housing Financing Fund to buy residential property on the same terms as Icelandic nationals.


If a foreign national wishes to continue to own property in Iceland after leaving the country, they must apply for permission to do so. Foreign nationals who are not legally domiciled in Iceland may apply for permission to buy residential property from the Ministry of justice.


Read the Housing Guide

The Housing and Construction Authority (HMS)

The Housing and Construction Authority issues loans for the purchase of property and real estate. Loan applications are available here.



Borgartún 21
105 Reykjavík
Tel.: (+354) 440 6400
E-mail: hms@hms.is


Icelandic banks issue loans for the purchase of property and real estate. You can obtain information on loan conditions on the websites of the banks or by contacting a service representative at one of their branches.

Buying and selling

Only certified estate agents and attorneys may act as intermediaries in real estate transactions. The fees for such services vary. Individuals are allowed to handle their real estate transactions without the help of an intermediary. However, if they choose to do so, they must ensure that matters are handled properly, as there are considerable interests at stake.


The seller must provide detailed information on the state of the property and ensure that the sale and presentation material provided corresponds to the actual state of the property. The buyer can better protect themselves by inspecting the property thoroughly before making a purchase offer.


The buyer and seller should be aware of the legal provisions governing liability for any defects in the property. Selling a property in a multi-owner building is subject to a joint ownership agreement having been made.


One spouse may sell or dispose of residential property occupied by a married couple only with the permission of the other spouse. The same applies to property belonging to the couple in which one or both spouses engage in a professional activity.

Purchase offer

Purchase offers should contain the relevant reservations where necessary, such as regarding loan commitments and payment arrangements.


The relevant documentation must be registered or deregistered with the District Commissioner in the district where the property is located. If this is not done, the rights of the buyer are not fully guaranteed.


Purchase agreements, mortgage bonds (loans) and property waivers must all be registered. Paid-off loans and other documents which have completed their function must be deregistered.


It is advisable to keep all documentation relating to real estate transactions.


List of certified real estate agents on District Commissioner website.

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