European owner occupancy drops

The number of people who purchase and live in their homes has dropped significantly in several European countries.

According to a report released by Halifax on Wednesday, the number of owner occupied properties in the UK and several other European countries has dropped to the lowest levels in just about a decade.

This new information has been caused in part by the inability of home buyers to afford properties that are growing in value as well as the higher interest rates that have hurt many areas. Some home buyers that are buying for the first time are in dire straits. In locations such as the south of England properties are too expensive.

The drop was found not only in the UK but also in other larger European countries including Germany and France. Owner occupation rates in these areas have also dropped considerably. In other countries such as Spain and Hungary the percentage of owner occupied homes was the highest. Rates topped out there at around 80 per cent.

With concerns over the economy in many areas, and European economic expansion dropping to very low numbers in this last quarter, there is more worry ahead for many areas. GDP in the euro zone rose just 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter over the third quarter of 2007.

Economists says that concerns over the US economic slowdown and the housing market slip are behind these GDP drops.