Four in 10 Greeks ‘overburdened’ by housing costs


Four in 10 Greeks spend more than 40 percent of their disposable income on housing costs, more than double the European Union average, according to a new study by Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics service.

On average, 11.4 percent of households in the 28-member EU spent more than 40 percent of their disposable income in 2014 on housing, a rate that that the Commission considers a housing cost “overburden.”

Greece ranks first, with households spending 40.7 percent of their disposable income on housing, followed by Germany with 15.9 percent, the Netherlands with 15.4 percent and Romania with 14.9 percent. At the lower end of the scale are Malta and Cyprus, with 1.6 percent and 4 percent respectively, followed by France and Finland, both with 5.1 percent.

The continual reduction of household income in Greece since the crisis struck in 2010 – wages have been slashed and pensions cut several times – has been accompanied by higher electricity prices, higher value-added tax on food and more property taxes.

According to figures presented over the weekend by the Panhellenic Federation of Property Owners (POMIDA), Greek households will be called upon to pay eight times more in property taxes next year than they did in 2010.