Above 40% of income pays 32.4%, compared to 10.4% in Europe
Our country maintains, and even with characteristic comfort, the negative first place, regarding the burden of households with housing costs. According to Euro8tat’s latest survey for 2021, the percentage of the population in Greece that is overburdened with housing costs reaches 32.4%, compared to 21.9% in Denmark and 15.3% in the Netherlands . These rates concern people who live in urban areas and are forced to spend more than 40% of their disposable income on the property in which they live. These costs concern e.g. rent, utilities, heating and water supply. Also, if it is about owners, any charge from servicing a mortgage loan is also calculated. Greece also secures a “first” in terms of the corresponding burden in rural areas, where the relative percentage of the population is 22%, compared to 13.3% in Bulgaria and 10.8% in Romania.
The corresponding percentage in the relevant survey of 2020 was slightly higher with 33.3%, while the average in the EU did not exceed 7.8%. In 2021, this size increased to 10.4% of the population. The picture is certainly even worse among those who rent. According to the relevant data, 74.2% of renters in Greece spend more than 40% of their income to cover their housing needs. The positive thing is that the relative percentage has been decreasing in recent years, as in 2020 it was at 79.2% and in 2014, when the crisis and economic recession had peaked, it reached 87.5%.
Among owners who service a mortgage loan, the relative percentage of the population reaches 18.5% from 19.9% ​​in 2020 and 31.5% in 2015. The difference observed between those who rent and those who service a mortgage, lies in that, as a rule, borrowers have a higher income than those who live in rent. Of course, the financial hardship for many households also translates into corresponding delays in repaying debts. According to Eurostat, in 2021, 36.4% of the population in Greece was in arrears in servicing their debts, either for rent or DEKO accounts, or for their mortgage installment.
In second place in the E.U. with 20.4% followed by Bulgaria and next countries such as Cyprus with 17.3%, Croatia with 16.6% and Ireland with 13.6%. Given that in 2022 the factor of the energy crisis was added, which shot up the cost of electricity and heating, a significant increase in the above percentages is expected in the next Eurostat survey. Meanwhile, rent prices continue their upward trend. According to research by Potamianos Real Estate Group, which concerns real residential lease agreements and not asking prices related to advertisements, today, the average asking price in Attica reaches 7.9 euros/sq.m., having increased by almost 35% from in 2017. In some areas of the center, such as Pagrati and Kypseli, or in Piraeus, rents have increased by more than 50% from 2017 until the end of 2022. Therefore, real estate market executives note that the supply of houses available for rent should be increased, but also household incomes should be boosted in order to cope with the increased cost of living.