For housing maintenance households on average spend 134 euros per month

05.03.2014

Results of the survey on income and living conditions carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau show that in 2013 housing maintenance expenditure of households1 has increased, reaching 134 euros per month. Despite of that housing expenditure has risen by 5.3%, almost the same as in 2012 households spent 17.3% of their disposable income to cover this expenditure.

Total housing maintenance expenditure on average per month and its share in household disposable income in 2005-2013

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Data have been recalculated basing on the population number estimated in the Population and Hosing Census.

The share of households that were in arrears for utilities2 last year due to the financial difficulties has reduced slightly. The share of such households has dropped from 20.6% in 2012 to 18.3% in 2013. Data of the survey shows that among elderly people (65 years and more) was the smallest share of households (11.7%) in arrears for utilities.

For households consisting of one adult with children aged below 17 it was most complicated to pay their utility bills. 36.3% of such single-parent families due to the lack of money were in arrears for utilities. However, the situation has improved slightly, compared to 2012, when 44.1% of single-parent families were in arrears for utilities.

Share of households that during the last 12 months because of the lack of money were in arrears for utilities (in per cent)

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Housing maintenance expenditure significantly affected household budget. Only 12% of surveyed households affirmed that housing maintenance expenditure is not a burden at all for them.

The highest housing expenditure burden had households with the lowest income (1st quintile3). These households in 2013 spent almost 33% of their disposable income to cover the hosing maintenance expenditure, moreover two thirds of them said that it is a heavy burden to their budget.

Breakdown of answers in 2013 to the question "Is total housing cost a financial burden to your household?", in quintiles3

(in per cent)

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Data source of housing maintenance expenditure is survey on income and living conditions carried out by the CSB in 2013 (the so-called EU-SILC – EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions). The survey covered 6.3 thousand households and 12 thousand respondents aged 16 years and over were interviewed. Data on 2014 will be compiled in a similar survey that will be launched in March of this year and will be conducted until the end of June.

 

More information:
Liene Āboliņa
Social Statistics Department
Income and Living Conditions Statistics Section
Tel. +371 67366727

 

Methodological explanations

In survey on income and living conditions the amount of housing maintenance expenditure includes following expenditure:

  • rent for housing (only for tenants);
  • housing property tax (only for owners);
  • heating, electricity, water supply and sewerage, waste disposal, etc. payments connected with housing;
  • expenditure for current housing repair and regular maintenance;
  • expenditure on housing (not property) insurance (if such are paid).

Utilities include payments for water, gas, electricity and heat. Here also payments for waste management are included. Public utilities do not include telephone bills.

Quintile – one fifth from households, which are broken down in growing sequence according to their disposable cash income per one household member. The lowest (first) quintile includes one fifth of the households with the lowest income, while the highest (fifth) – one fifth of the households with the highest income.