Cost of running a home at four-year high

Published by Ruth Jackson on 10 April 2012.
Last updated on 10 April 2012

Household bills

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.

Household expense

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%
Household appliances £196 £217 £219 0.9% 12%
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%
Telephone account £310 £329 £342 4.1% 10%
Toiletries, cleaning products etc £149 £162 £163 0.5% 10%
Household insurances £350 £368 £358 -2.6% 2%
Mortgage payments £4,521 £3,551 £3,485 -1.9% -23%
Council tax £1,271 £1,377 £1,379 0.1% 8%
Total cost of owning and running a home £9.406 £9,149 £9,393 2.7% -0.1%

 Sources: Halifax, ONS

More About

Leave a comment