Costs of Running a House Soon Add Up

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Running a home is an expensive business, with housing costs accounting for almost a quarter of average full-time earnings in 2009.

However, in April 2009, the cost of owning and running a home was at its lowest since 2006, according to mortgage provider Halifax, with the average annual cost of housing falling by 17 per cent, from £8,766 in April 2008 to £7,298 by the following year.

Although London saw the biggest drop in the cost of owning and running a home, with an average decline of 21 per cent, it remained the most expensive region, with annual housing costs standing at £9,180, compared to a national average of £7,298.

Mortgage costs

While mortgage interest payments still make up the biggest chunk of annual household bills at 27 per cent and costing an average of £1,990, costs have almost halved since 2008.

In April 2008, mortgage interest payments accounted for a massive 43 per cent of annual household spend, costing £3,748 a year. This is largely due to a drop in the average mortgage rate from 5.80 per cent in April 2008 to 3.62 per cent a year later.

Gas and electricity

The biggest increase in the cost of running a home came from gas and electricity charges, which went up by £159 since April 2008 to a total of £1,409 – accounting for 19 per cent of household spend.

Council tax and domestic rates was the third biggest drain on household accounts, costing an average of £1,261 a year – or 17 per cent of household spend.

Saving on your bills

Although they have fallen over the past year, mortgage interest payments make up the biggest chunk of your annual household spends. So switching your mortgage or fixing it at one of the great rates available at the moment, is a great way to take thousands off your mortgage.

With gas, electricity and other fuels costing an average of £1,409 a year at April 2009, it makes sense to shop around to get the best deal. Online comparison services can help you find a tariff that suits your needs as well as shaving hundreds of pounds a year off your bills.

Switching your home phone, digital TV and even your broadband to a new package or provider can also save you hundreds of pounds a year, helping your money go further.


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