Cost of running a home at four-year high
The cost of owning and running a house has risen to its highest level in four years, according to research from Halifax.
The typical annual cost of owning and running a home was £9,393 in January 2012, the highest average annual total since January 2008, when it peaked at £9,406. The costs associated with running a house rose by 2.7% in 2011.
Halifax analyses all the bills householders face, including mortgage repayments, council tax, spending on maintenance and repairs, water supply, electricity, gas and other fuels, household appliances, tools and equipment, goods and services for routine maintenance, phone costs, toiletries and household insurance.
Rising gas and electricity bills accounted for 89% of the increase, adding £218 to the annual costs. In second place was the cost of home and garden tools, which has risen by £31. Nine of the 11 housing expense categories that Halifax tracks rose over the past year, only household insurance and mortgage payments fell.
Mortgage payments have fallen by 23% (£1,036) over the past four years thanks to the fall in mortgage rates and house prices over the period. However, this drop isn't enough to mitigate rises elsewhere. Despite inflation only rising by 28% over the past decade (according to the consumer prices index), the overall cost of homeownership has risen by 55%. In January 2002 the annual bill for owning your own home was just £6,061.
Cost of running a house by category, Jan 2008-Jan 2012
|JAN 2008 £s||JAN 2011 £s||JAN 2012 £s||1 YEAR % CHANGE||4 YEAR % CHANGE|
|Maintenance and repair of dwelling||£599||£694||£717||3.3%||20%|
|Water supply and misc. dwelling services||£413||£458||£478||4.4%||16%|
|Electricity, gas and other fuels||£1,101||£1,435||£1,653||15.2%||50%|
|Tools and equipment for house and garden||£169||£185||£216||16.6%||28%|
|Goods and services for routine household maintenance||£327||£374||£384||2.6%||17%|
|Toiletries, cleaning products etc||£149||£162||£163||0.5%||10%|
|Total cost of owning and running a home||£9.406||£9,149||£9,393||2.7%||-0.1%|
Sources: Halifax, ONS
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).