Cost of running a home falls for first time in four years - study

AA Home Insurance research finds that those in negative equity are still suffering

The annual cost of owning and maintaining a family home has fallen for the first time in four years, according to a new survey. File photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The annual cost of owning and maintaining a family home has fallen for the first time in four years, according to a new survey. File photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

 

The annual cost of owning and maintaining a family home has fallen for the first time in four years but the “negative equity generation” is still paying dearly for buying at the height of the boom, according to a new survey.

Each year, for the past four years, AA Home Insurance has carried out a study looking at the cost of owning and running a home in Ireland.

The spending survey published today suggests that €16,210.49, or 41 per cent of the current average industrial wage, is needed to cover typical household costs including mortgage payments.

This time last year the figure was €16,432.

The decrease comes despite a 6.2 per cent rise in the national average price of a second-hand house over the past 12 months, from €193,000 to €205,000.

It is largely being attributed to falls in average mortgage rates.

Those who take out a 90 per cent mortgage this year are likely to pay €9,417.03 per annum – down 6.7 per cent on last year.

“One of the key drivers of the year-on-year decrease is that current mortgage lending rates are considerably lower now than this period last year,” said AA director of consumer affairs, Conor Faughnan.

“The change is undoubtedly good news for first-time buyers.”

The AA bases its calculations on those of a new buyer, but there is also a “negative equity generation” – homeowners who bought at the peak of the boom.

According to the AA someone on a variable rate mortgage who bought in 2007 pays €6,257, or 66.45 per cent more in repayments than someone who bought a home in the third-quarter of this year.

Mortgage and property tax are calculated based on the current average property price.

All other elements of the spending survey, from broadband and heating to the cost of domestic appliances, is calculated according to prices as of September and October of this year.

Rising property values

Rising property values mean that the AA calculations now assume a higher property tax threshold of €405, €90 more than last year.

Maintenance, repair and contingency funds is the second single most expensive bill for Irish householders and is down, year-on-year by a further 3 per cent.

The AA estimates that the average homeowner is likely to spend or set aside €1,240.63 to keep up with wear and tear.

This figure equates to almost 8 per cent of the overall estimated cost of owning and running a home.

The AA also estimates that the average homeowner will spend €989.02 heating their home this year, down 4 per cent on last year’s figure and €1,117.42 on electricity, also down 4 per cent.

Other costs included in the AA Home Insurance study were: home insurance which is calculated at about €492.78, telephone and broadband bills, €453.79, household appliances, €542.64, household cleaning products, €320.58, and refuse collection which the survey says costs an average of €292.72.

Water charges are a new addition to the suite of costs this year at an estimated fee of €260 for a multi-adult household.