Fewer people are home owners in the UK than other European nations
It is often said that the UK is a nation of home owners and more people own their home than in many other parts of Europe but new data suggests otherwise.
While 65% of people are home owners in Britain, 73% are in Italy, 79% in Spain and 84% in Poland with France having the same number as the UK and Germany having less at just 54%, according to a study by mortgage company Credit Foncier based on European Union statistics.
The study is based on eight European countries that make up 75% of Europe’s population and also shows that Dutch people spend more of their income on property at 29.4% while British people spend 25.1%, the French 18.2% and Italians 17.1%.
But the Dutch pay less for their homes as prices fell between 2006 and 2015 while they increased by just 2% over this period in France. But buyers in the UK have seen prices rise by 30% over the same period while prices in Germany increased by 30%.
However, in France buyers get more for their money. On average homes are 102 metres squared in France compared to 85 in Poland and just 76 in the UK which has overall the smallest homes in Europe in terms of floor space. The biggest homes are in the Netherlands at 119 square meters and Portugal at 112.
Home owners in the Netherlands tend to take out mortgages over a longer period with the average timespan 30 year compared to 25 years in Germany, 23 years in Spain and 19 years in France.
Average interest rates for mortgages are lowest in Germany at 2%, followed by France at 2.1%, the UK at 2.6% and the highest can be found in Poland at 3.4%. But the average mortgage in Poland is much smaller than elsewhere at €7,567.
The data also shows that it is homeowners in the UK that have the most to pay back at €82,525, slightly more than the average in the Netherlands of €81,433, and much more than the €51,793 in Germany and €47,096 in France.