30 June 2010

The cost of owning and running a UK home has fallen by 6% over the past two years, according to recent research. The figures, released by Halifax, attribute this to cheaper mortgage packages coming back onto the market.

The average annual cost of running a home between April 2008 and April 2010 fell by £544, from £9,564 to £9,020. After allowing for price inflation the cost of housing has decreased by 9%.
This means that costs are now equivalent to 27% of gross average full time earnings, which is down from the 30% figure seen in 2008.

The Halifax bases its running costs on mortgage payments, council tax, maintenance, repairs, water supply, electricity, gas and other fuels. Mortgage payments remain the largest outlay for home owners at 41%, with electricity and gas charges second, and council tax charges third.

The decrease in the cost of housing in the past two years has been driven by a decline in mortgage payments, with a 19% (£881) decrease.  In regional terms London has the highest annual cost at £11,762 and the South East at £10,457. Housing costs are lowest in Northern Ireland at £7,331.

Susan Thiru, Halifax housing economist, commented: “Over the last two years, the cost associated with owning and running a home in the UK has fallen, entirely as a consequence of reduced mortgage payments. The drop in housing costs has helped to ease the strain on household’s finances, providing some relief to homeowners during the economic downturn.”
Source: Propertywire

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