A study by home insurers MORE TH>N has found that owning a three-bedroom home in the UK comes with average annual running costs of £18,197, or £1,516 per month.
Rented three bedroom homes are slightly less expensive at £17,657 per year (£1,471 per month).
For a household with two working adults each earning the average UK annual salary, this means that between 40% (rented) and 42% (owned) of post-tax earnings are being spent purely on household bills and the rent or mortgage.
Overall 89% of all homes, regardless of size, generate bills that are in excess of half of the mortgage or rent payment.
Households are most stretched in Greater London, where 70% of properties cost more than £1,818.7 per month to run – the average UK net take-home after tax.
So whilst a family with two people earning the national average salary in Omagh, Northern Ireland would be left with £2,796 disposable income each month, this figure contrasts sharply with a family trying to run the same size home but in Oxford (£1,480), Croydon (£1,496) and Cambridge (£1,712.58) respectively.
The report also shows that for 71% of people in the UK it’s cheaper to run a home if you own the property, rather than rent. The East Midlands is the only region in the UK where it is always cheaper to own than to rent any sized property, whereas in Greater London it’s only cheaper to own for 23% of homeowners.
Graham Nicholls, head of home insurance at MORE TH>N, commented: “The report looks at average homes and average costs. Just as last year, it’s clear that most people are financially stretched putting a roof over their heads and paying their bills – spending most of their income before buying other regular necessities such as food, commuting, petrol or insurance.
“With so little slack in the budget, it’s easy to imagine how one unplanned expense could prove to be unaffordable and we would encourage homeowners and renters to protect their home and possessions to guard against unexpected bills. Having the right insurance in place, as well as keeping up with the wear and tear on your home, offer peace of mind and prevent bigger bills down the road.”