At home in Europe: a RE/MAX study with exciting findings

A representative study of housing conditions and costs conducted by RE/MAX Europe in 16 European countries shows that 61% of all Europeans own the house or condominium in which they live. More than a third of the 8,000 respondents stated that they live in their own house, 25% in a condominium. The most homeowners are located in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy; in contrast to Switzerland, Germany and Austria where most people rent their housing.

Housing costs with a huge bandwidth

On average, Europeans spend 40% of their household income for housing (rent / loan repayment, operating costs & heating). The living costs of Europeans are greatly diversified: While every fifth European spends 20% of the income for housing, the top 9% must spend over 70%. "Living in Spain and Greece is the most expensive, with 50% of the income being necessary for housing, which is interestingly enough also the case in the Netherlands" explains Michael Polzler, Head of RE/MAX Europe.

Living is a family affair

The biggest difference is the question with whom the Europeans want to live together. The majority of respondents shares an apartment or a house with her partner, children or parents. 15% live alone, especially in Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. However, less than 5% of respondents in Slovakia or Turkey live alone. "Especially in South-Eastern European countries, young people live longer with their parents, while in the North-Western European countries offsprings move out earlier, once they study or take on their first job", says Polzler.

The population can feel the rising housing costs

The overwhelming majority of Europeans can feel that rental costs are rising. The Sweden are more relaxed regarding the overall cost of living. Only 23% of them state that life in their country is expensive. In contrast, 66% of the Swiss and 62% of the Finns find that their country is expensive. It is evident in all countries: "The older the respondents, the more they are inclined to perceive life as expensive", Polzler added.

Ready for higher housing costs: only with improvements

On average, Europeans are willing to spend up to 40% of their net income for housing. This is almost the precise amount that they currently spend. In Spain and the United Kingdom residents are willing to spend 50% for housing on average, while in the Switzerland and the Slovakia the value is at 30%. The upper limit of how much Europeans are willing to spend for housing seems to have reached a threshold at first glance. However, details of the study show that a willingness to pay more will be an option, if the living conditions significantly improve in return.

Details about the survey

As Europe's leading real estate expert network with more than 20 years of market presence, RE/MAX Europe has conducted this cross-national study for comparison purposes. To conduct the survey, 8,000 people aged between 20 and 59 years in various European countries (Austria, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey and the United Kingdom) were polled by the online research institute in January 2015.

At home in Europe