Homeowners face four-year high in household running costs
A Halifax review of the cost of owning and running a home has revealed that homeowners are forking out their highest amounts since the start of the property slump in 2008.
The research concluded that escalating bills for utilities such as gas and electricity have accounted for a staggering 89% of this rise. This is despite the fact that average mortgage payments have dipped from 2008 to 2012.
The average costs of running a home in the UK stood at figure of £9,393 at the start of the year, nearly matching a previous high of £9,406 at the start of 2008.
Household cost rises were highest for Northern Ireland (4.6%) and Wales (3.9%) with the figure in these regions surpassing consumer price inflation (3.6%). Surprisingly, London and the East Midlands saw the lowest increases, with a matching figure of 1.9%.
Commenting on the situation, Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said:
"The typical costs of owning and running a home has increased over the past year, returning the overall level to that of four years ago. This has happened despite the substantial fall in mortgage payments over recent years, as all the other costs associated with home ownership have risen. The prospect of declining consumer price inflation through much of 2012 may help the costs associated with running a home to ease as well, providing some welcome relief to homeowners."
Electricity, gas and other fuels accounted for 50% of the rise, at a figure of £1,653. Tools and equipment for house and garden took the second highest share of the rise (28%) at a figure of £216. Maintenance and repair of dwellings also accounted for 20% of the rise at an annual figure of £717.
The survey also unearthed the fact that mortgage payments made up the largest share of household expenses at a figure of 37%. However, mortgage payments have fallen by 23% (-£1,036) since 2008, dropping from £4,521 in January 2008 to £3,485 in January 2012.
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