Cost of running home 'falls by 17%'

Published ¤ 29/06/2009

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The cost of owning and running a home has fallen by nearly a fifth during the past year to its lowest level since 2006, research has suggested.

The average property cost £7,298 a year to run in the 12 months to April, 17% less than during the previous year, according to high street bank Halifax.
The steep drop in running costs was driven by a 47% fall in mortgage interest payments after the Bank of England base rate was slashed to a record low of 0.5%.
As a result of the decline, the average mortgage rate dropped to 3.62%, down from 5.8% in April 2008, and interest payments fell to an average of �1,990 a year.
But mortgage payments were the only area of household running costs that fell during the 12 months, with gas and electricity charges rising by 13% to average �1,409 a year.
Routine maintenance costs also increased, rising by 7% to �350 a year, while both water bills and the cost of repairing properties were 5% higher in April than a year earlier.
Despite their fall, mortgage interest payments are still the single biggest cost of owning a home, accounting for 27% of the total, although this is down from 43% in April 2008.
Electricity and gas bills are the second biggest cost at 19%, up from 14%, followed by council tax and domestic rates at 17%.
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