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

34 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    catherine benning

    How can we solve the housing crisis?

    If you accept there is a housing crisis, as this question to the public clearly suggests you do, why has the EU imported millions of poverty stricken people from around the world into a Eurozone that does not have enough proper civilised homes for people to live in? Additionally continued to do so and still continue to do so against the vast majority of the tax paying public wishes.

    Surely the first most sensible move would be to stop importing the millions of destitute from around the world immediately. Those who do wish to import this burden on a rejecting public must be forced to house the incomers personally in their own homes, and, set up a private fund where at least and additional 20% of their net income is taken, prior to receipt, from their wages to help with the additional costs of such benevolence.

    If you think it harsh to force such an additional fund on abundant charity well wishers, ask why the well wishes are not concerned about the enforcement of such a burden on those who ‘do not’ wish to donate is acceptable to them. It has to be fair that those who feel happy to feed and house others before they feed and house their own must face the reality of what it is they wish for.

    Then, with the additional billions made, build decent homes, making sure the indigenous get housed first. Now that would be a move forward would it not? Another answer to ease the burden of homeless bodies would be to tax the countries the fleeing migrants are leaving. Head count and reduce the foreign aid sent to each country via their received flock.

  2. avatar

    Probably making Investments funds and insurances to pay at least the same taxes a comum family pays. In PT a home in Lisbon area can pay 600 to 900 just for the city hall. The house nextdoor being owned by investment fund pays nothing

  3. avatar

    Maybe having a glance at the past. State owned apartaments rented at low rate to workers and young people. But we live in a capitalist EU and our politiciens need €€€€€€ & %%%%%

  4. avatar

    Well, check how many house owners have more than two in the same town. They are using them for making living and increasing the rental costs. We should have this limited.

  5. avatar

    By controlling number of migrants

  6. avatar

    Give proper wages to citigens to built more houses

    • avatar

      These most likely cannot be limited significantly, thanks to EU free market policies and the opinions relevant EU officials are holding. Simply put, housing markets are seen as free and open markets, so any significant city or government intervention is illegal market disruption.

  7. avatar

    Starting from banning all racist and extrem right winga from owning a house maybe

  8. avatar

    banning all stalinist and anarchist from owning a house… And expelling them to siberia

  9. avatar

    En réduisant l immigration notamment et en donnant les logement sociaux a ceux qui en ont vraiment besoin , il suffit de faire un tour ds les quartiers et on est surpris de voir les voitures au pied de ces logements sociaux

  10. avatar

    By stopping speculation! The rich have an unlimited number of properties, raising rent and property prices by hoarding. Also, I have a feeling that money is laundered by some and there is tax evasion through the purchasing of property.

  11. avatar

    Innovations in cost cutting technologies and management sciences, and loopholes finding wizardry are the answers.

  12. avatar

    By taxing enormously housing properties that are not primary housing. In this way we prevent renting becoming a business.

  13. avatar

    Start by not allowing hordes of migrant workers (aka “refugees”) in.

  14. avatar

    By stopping people who want to immigrate that have nothing to contribute.

  15. avatar

    Funny thing- there are regions in EU which are underpopulated and the houses there just rot and there are regions where people cannot afford normal space within 1 hour from their job.

  16. avatar

    By Not Importing 13 century cultures into our continent.

  17. avatar

    nothing more to say. But this inmigración is only showing up the luck of real values in Europe. So we are the responsible

  18. avatar

    First there needs to be a mainstream acceptance of existence of this housing crisis. There is no acceptance.

    I agree there is a housing crisis, but the sad fact is that no one will solve a problem that doesn’t exist. And if you follow mainstream news or politicians, the housing isn’t a problem. Current development is a feature of EU and it’s free market policies. Investor investment needs to be protected, and as housing markets are generally recognized in EU to be open free markets, governments are not allowed to intervene on the markets by large scale construction of new apartments, because this could change the price levels which is market disruption but the whole point of building new apartments is to reduce costs so in short the EU is the problem.
    Similarly with the AirBnB grievances, the cities don’t have legal tools to limit free markets of houses and rentals because the EU legislation protects the free market aspects.

  19. avatar

    It’s simple.
    Abolish capitalism.
    Europa can automate 30% of jobs right now. We could 3D print houses like crazy…if we made them NOT for profit.

    An actual house does not cost 150.000€+ but more 50.000€ in materials. The rest is pocketed by various people whom we despise but under capitalism are forced to screw us to survive.

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hi Zap, you probably are joking- or chocking on EU propaganda? Regardless of Capitalism or Marxism as excuse. Similar to the “globalized” climate change debate.

      Housing is a national competence- not an EU one (yet)!

      Behind the scene rages an epic battle to obtain & unite ALL national competences within the EU concept= USE.

      It’s amazing how complex social problems are oversimplified= distorted= “child’s play”, while simple political solutions become complexified by a move to dumb “us”- (not all) down. Isn’t the usage of “we” & “us” telling? “I” am neither “we” nor “us”!

      Similar to the climate (CO2 change) debate- refer:

      Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner:

      or- a dearth of Carbon- Dr. Patrick Moore

      Are you a property developer with all the technical & financial knowledge to develop & create mass or individual housing complexes under differing national circumstances & afford abilities?

    • avatar

      For someone with the name “REFORM” you sure are everywhere raging hard about the EU.
      Who pays your bills I wonder. I seen your page too. Post after post of anti-EU drivel. No word of a “reform”.

      I’m a federalist. My country would benefit if Brussels was in charge. Our “national leaders” are mindbogglingly incompetent bordering on insane.

      So you can’t scare with the “evil USE”.
      Britain would benefit too they are just too stupid to admit it.
      Italy too, Hungary and Poland too.

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Dear Zap,

      any insane, incompetent or angry person wishing to be taken serious while propagating abolishing “Capitalism” (replace it with what?) or “print houses” and confuse the EU and Europe, fails the test as valuable “federal or economic EU” supporter- but one contradicting the concept of the “original European Economic Community” (EEC) and its free market system- negotiated by its “national leaders” some time ago.

  20. avatar

    Housing crisis? What housing crisis? Immigration crisis!

    • avatar

      What “immigration” ?
      Are u high?

      1 million refugees to 500 million is the cause of house prices going through the roof???

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