Property in the UK is the third least affordable in Europe, according to findings from the European Union, which has revealed that one in six people (16%) in the UK are overburdened with housing costs.
Those who are defined as overburdened are people spending more than 40% of their income on costs such as rent, mortgage payments and other living costs associated with their home.
Of the 29 EU countries surveyed by the EU, only two had more overburdened residents than the UK – Denmark and Greece.
In fact, many of our European counterparts are significantly better off when it comes to housing costs. Only 4.2% of people living in Portugal are spending more than 40% of their income on housing, four times less than the UK.
Elsewhere, 11.2% of Spanish people are burdened with housing costs, while in Italy and France the percentages are even lower at 7.5% and 5.2% respectively. The lack of new affordable housing being built in the UK is being blamed for the escalating costs.
Campbell Robb, the housing charity Shelter's Chief Executive, commented: “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 with petrol, and paying their housing costs. Housing is the largest monthly cost for most people, yet the affordability of housing is not getting the same attention as the monthly costs of other essentials such as food or fuel. We believe all political parties must recognise solving our housing crisis is as fundamental as health and education.”