Housing costs third highest in Europe

Research by housing charity Shelter has shown families in the UK are among the worst off in Europe, with one in six people in the UK overburdened with housing costs.

The Shelter report uses data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Standards to calculate the percentage of people living in a household where total housing costs exceed 40% of a family’s total disposable household income.

Out of 29 EU countries analysed only Denmark and Greece were worse off.

Even countries with troubled economies such as Spain, Italy and Portugal scored higher. In Portugal only 4.2% of people are spending over 40% of their income on housing, four times less than the in UK. Only 11.2% of Spanish and 7.5% of Italians face the same costs.

Shelter says that over the last few decades, homes in the UK have become less and less affordable as a succession of governments have failed to prioritise housing investment.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “These figures are the evidence that the UK housing market is deeply dysfunctional.

“With so many families spending huge amounts of their income on their rent or mortgage, people will be making daily trade-offs between food bills, filling the car tank with petrol, and paying their housing costs.”

Mr Robb does not believe the situation is likely to be resolved soon and that the problem facing successive generations is likely to increase.

To see the full data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Standards, 2010 follow the link below.

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/en/ilc_esms.htm

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