Housing Costs in the United Kingdom Among the Most Expensive in the European Union

Photo by Nigel Mykura

Households in the United Kingdom are among those that are most heavily burdened in the European Union for housing costs, shelling out a higher proportion of spendings on basic living expenses than the majority of the other member states.

According to Eurostat, residents of the United Kingdom spent 27.1 percent of their overall expenses on housing, electricity, gas and other fuels, and water. This puts the UK below only Denmark (29.1 percent) and Finland (28.4 percent) as the member states with the highest proportion of spending on housing.

The average expenses on housing for all member states was almost a quarter of spending at 24.5 percent. Only six (6) countries sit above this threshold, with Sweden, the Czech Republic, and France joining the top three.

The cheapest place to live in was Malta, where its residents spend just over 10 percent of the average expenses on household costs. This was significantly lower than Lithuania, the next most affordable state, where more than 15 percent goes on utility and housing costs.

Housing remained to be the most significant of all household expenditure primary items, and its proportion has risen since 2006 to 24.5 percent, where it was 22.7 percent only over a decade ago.

The high level of outgoings on housing and utilities of the United Kingdom has remained to be relatively stable, whereas other states have faced major increases.

However, in 2016, the United Kingdom had the lowest proportional expenditure on food, spending only 7.1 percent of outgoings as compared to an average of the European Union of 11.1 percent. Brits also spent more than average on cafés and restaurants, using 7.1 percent of overall expenses. However, Spaniards spent the most in this category, putting 14.8 percent of outgoings into going out.