Across the EU, house prices have been growing faster than incomes. This has made it more difficult for young people in particular to get their foot on the first rung of the housing ladder. Housing has now become the highest expenditure for most Europeans, and the NGO Housing Europe argues that the rate of housing construction is too low to meet growing demand in the future, suggesting that housing scarcity is a structural problem and will only get worse over time.
In 2017, over 11% of households in the EU were considered “overburdened” when it comes to housing costs (meaning they spend more than 40% of their disposable income on keeping a roof over their heads). However, this figure hides the fact that poorer households are disproportionately affected – roughly 40% of people considered to be at risk of poverty are overburdened.
In several EU countries, including the UK, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Denmark, Spain, and Luxembourg, at least one-quarter of an average households income routinely goes on rent (not including extra costs such as utility bills). What’s the solution? Is it as simple as just “build more houses, stupid”?
How can we solve the housing crisis? What are the root causes of the housing crisis across the continent? Is this an area the EU can do anything about? Or is it more up to national governments? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
Image Credits: Bigstock (cc) – reydangeniy