Just more than 84 per cent of Bulgarians own their own homes, above the EU average of 70 per cent, according to a report by EU statistics agency Eurostat released on November 23 2015.
This does not make Bulgaria the EU country with the highest rate of home ownership – that is its northern neighbour Romania, at 96.1 per cent, followed by Slovakia (90.3 per cent) Lithuania (89.9 per cent), Croatia (89.7 per cent) and Hungary (89.1 per cent).
Less than two-thirds of the population owned their dwelling in Germany (52.5 per cent) and Austria (57.2 per cent), followed by Denmark (63.3 per cent), the United Kingdom (64.8 per cent) and France (65.1 per cent).
In Bulgaria, 56 per cent of the population lived in houses and 43.7 per cent in flats, with the rest recorded as living in “other”, according to Eurostat.
The highest proportion of house-dwellers in the EU was in the United Kingdom (84.7 per cent), followed by Croatia (80.8 per cent), Belgium (77.6 per cent), the Netherlands (77.1 per cent), Cyprus (72.7 per cent) and Slovenia (70.3 per cent). In contrast, flats were the main dwelling type notably in Spain (where 66.5 per cent of the population were living in flats in 2014), Latvia (65.1 per cent), Lithuania (58.4 per cent) and Greece (56.9 per cent).
In 2014, the housing cost overburden – meaning, where total housing costs represented more than 40 per cent of total disposable household income, was 12.9 per cent in Bulgaria, against an EU average of 11.4 per cent.
The housing cost overburden was by far the highest in Greece, 40.7 per cent. It was followed at a distance by Germany (15.9 per cent), Denmark (15.6 per cent), the Netherlands (15.4 per cent) and Romania (14.9 per cent).
At the opposite end of the scale, Malta (1.6 per cent of the total population), Cyprus (four per cent), France and Finland (both 5.1 per cent) registered the lowest housing cost overburden rates. At EU level, 11.4 per cent of the population were living in households which spent more than 40 per cent of their disposable income on housing.
In 2014 in the EU, 17.1 per cent of the population were living in overcrowded households, meaning they had a lack of space given the size of the household.
Across EU countries, one out of two people were living in overcrowded households in Romania (52.3 per cent of the population). Hungary (44.6 per cent), Poland (44.2 per cent), Bulgaria (43.3 per cent), Croatia (42.1 per cent), Latvia (39.8 per cent) and Slovakia (38.6 per cent) also registered high shares of the population living in overcrowded households.
On a scale from 0 (“not satisfied at all”) to 10 (“fully satisfied”), EU residents aged 16 and over rated their satisfaction with accommodation at 7.5.
Among EU countries, satisfaction with accommodation was highest in the three EU Nordic member states – Finland (8.4/10), Denmark (8.3/10) and Sweden (8.2/10) – as well as in Austria (8.3/10) and the Netherlands (8.1/10). At the opposite end of the scale, populations with the lowest rated satisfaction for accommodation were those living in Bulgaria (six out of 10), Latvia and Greece (both 6.6/10).