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French houses priciest in Europe - but debts low

Published: 13 Jun 2012 12:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jun 2012 12:02 GMT+02:00

France is the most expensive place in Europe for new housing, according to a study released this week, but the country's inhabitants' are only half as indebted as their neighbours in the UK.

The study by finance company Deloitte reveals the average price of new real estate in the capital is €8000 per meter squared. The cheapest is in the Hungarian capital Budapest, where the average price per square meter is €940.

France also comes second for the general cost housing – including renting, building charges and home improvements.  It is 41% over the EU monthly average of €3200 per year. Denmark is the most expensive at 70%.

Getting on the property ladder is hard in France too – not only do buyers have to face a 6.2% hike in house prices, the highest in Europe, Deloitte also calculated they need to save 9.11 years’ worth of salary to buy a house outright.

But one area where France isn’t worst in Europe is housing debt - mortgage loans total 41% of GDP, which is over 10% lower than the European average of 52%.

At an average of €12,310 per inhabitant, personal debt in general in France is on a par with most other European countries, including Austria, Belgium and Spain, but they were only slightly more than half those of Britons, who owed an average of €23,270 per person.

Deloitte’s study released today looked at 12 European countries in total, including Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Hollande, Poland and Britain.

Nicola Hebden (news@thelocal.fr)

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