Malta leads the way: Lowest housing costs in the EU.
New statistics published by Eurostat show that Maltese people spend the smallest share of their income on housing costs within the European Union. The general population in Malta spends around 9% of their disposable income on housing costs, which is the lowest figure across the member states. Cyprus and Lithuania followed Malta, respectively spending 11% and 12% of their disposable income on housing costs.
In contrast, nationals of Greece and Denmark spend the highest shares of their income on housing costs, with 34% and 26% respectively. The third highest share was found in the Netherlands at 24%.
On average across the EU, the share of housing costs in disposable income was 19% in 2021.
Despite the low share of housing costs, house prices in Malta have increased significantly since 2010. While between 2010 and 2015 house prices in Malta remained below the EU average, from 2015 onwards, the pattern shifted and prices in Malta were higher than the EU average. Only recently, in 2021 specifically, have local house prices fallen below the EU average. However, rental prices have remained above the EU average between 2010 and 2021.
Malta's predominantly home-owning population has almost 82% of people owning the home they live in, and Maltese homes tend to be on the larger side of the EU average, with an average of 2.3 rooms per person. Malta is followed by Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands in this regard, which all have 2.1 rooms per person. At the bottom end of the scale, Poland and Romania both have an average 1.1 rooms per person. Croatia, Latvia and Slovakia, meanwhile, have 1.2 rooms on average per person.
Malta has the highest share of under-occupied homes in the EU, with 71.8% of the population living in a home that is deemed too large for the needs of the household living in it. Eurostat pointed out that a common cause of under-occupation is older people remaining in their home after their children have grown up and left.
This data is part of the Housing in Europe publication, which provides data on housing, the construction sector, quality of housing, and environmental impact.