83% of Luxembourg residents concerned about housing costs
(CS) Some 83 percent of people living in Luxembourg are concerned about the cost of housing, national statistics office State reports, with a rising number of households complaining about the dent it leaves in their budget.
While in 2003, only 27.4 percent of residents said that the financial burden of housing was “important”, this number rose to over 38 percent in 2012. At the same time, the number of households who commented that the cost of housing was not important has decreased considerably from 25.5 percent to just over 16.5 percent.
Compared to the rest of Europe, however, Luxembourg ranks average, mainly due to higher average wages. The most concerned about real estate spending were countries heavily affected by the financial crisis, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, as well as countries in Eastern Europe.
However, people in much of Western Europe, including Luxembourg's neighbours France, Germany and Belgium were less concerned by the cost of housing.
Inequalities in the labour market
Despite the average European result, Statec warned that there are great inequalities in the Luxembourg housing market. For example, recent buyers who are repaying loans spent around 22 percent of their gross income on housing, compared to 3 percent of home owners. Tenants paying rent meanwhile spent around 19 percent of their income on housing.
This rate increased to up to 30 percent for single parent families with one child, which are left on average with just 1,800 euros per month to cover their other costs of living.
Young people, too, suffer from high real estate prices, with lower entry-level wages unable to match rising real estate prices.
For some 5 percent of Luxembourg residents in 2012, housing costs surpassed 40 percent of their income. Two percent meanwhile indicated that they had fallen into arrears with rent or real estate loan payments, as well as related costs, such as water, gas, electricity or heating.