Cost of running a home rises

The annual expense of owning and running a house has increased by £179 over the past year, according to new research by the Halifax.

The typical annual cost associated with owning and running a home in the UK has risen by 1.9% from £9411 in 2012 to £9590. The increase was, however, less than the 2.7% rise in consumer prices over the same period.

This was the third successive annual increase in the cost of owning a home following the decline recorded between 2008 and 2010, which was driven by the reduction in mortgage rates during this period.

Overall, the average annual costs of owning and running a home are now 2.0% (£184) higher than five years ago. This increase is significantly lower than the 18% increase in overall consumer prices since 2008.

Water bills have increased by an average 5.6% (£27) over the past year. The next biggest percentage rise was in electricity and gas bills, which increased by an average of 4.2% (£70). Six of the 11 housing expense categories tracked have risen in cost over the past year.

Housing costs have risen in all UK regions in the past year. Nonetheless, only two regions – Northern Ireland (4.8%) and Wales (4.1%) – saw costs rise at a faster rate than consumer price inflation (3.3%). Those living in the East Midlands (2.0%) and London (2.0%) saw the smallest rises.

Total annual costs of owning and running a home are highest in London, at £12,094. This is 26% (£2504) above the UK average and 52% (£4124) higher than in Northern Ireland (£7970), which has the lowest costs.