Bulgarians spent much less on housing and utilities, at 19.7 per cent of total household expenditure in 2017, compared to the European Union average of 24.2 per cent, data from EU statistics body Eurostat showed on November 30.
The statistical category includes rental costs, repairs and maintenance, as well as electricity, gas and other fuels, but not furnishings and appliances, which are a separate Eurostat expenditure category.
Although Eurostat gave no in-depth analysis of the figures, Bulgaria’s lower spending (eighth lowest among EU’s 28 member states) can be explained by the high home ownership rate in the country, which is due to extensive pre-fab high-rise residential construction during Bulgaria’s communist era.
Eurostat’s data showed that despite the lower share of housing spending in total household expenditure, the country had one of the highest increases in that category over the decade between 2007 and 2017, rising by 3.4 percentage points (fifth highest in the EU) from 16.3 per cent in 2007.
At current prices, Bulgarians spent 6.5 billion euro on housing and utilities in 2017. The EU as a whole spent more than two trillion euro on housing and utilities in 2017, Eurostat said.