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Housing creeps over 1/3 of monthly budgets

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Housing creeps over 1/3 of monthly budgets
Signing a new rental contract is most households' biggest spending commitment. Photo: DPA
14:11 CEST+02:00
Germans spend more than a third of their household budgets on keeping a roof over their heads each month, new figures showed on Thursday – an increase of almost three percentage points in recent years.

The average household spent around €2,448 each month, the Federal Office for Statistics (Destatis) reported in data released on Thursday – and a big chunk of that cash went straight to the bank or the landlord.

At €845 per month on rent or mortgage payments, Germans' average housing spend in 2013 was almost €200 more than in 2008, when it stood at €657.

That meant that it had grown as a share of household spending to 34.5 percent, compared with just under 32 percent in 2008.

People in the eastern states found themselves paying out less on average than their western cousins thanks to lower prices in the former German Democratic Republic.

On average, 33.4 percent of families' total monthly spend went towards housing in the East – around €684 compared with West Germans' €888.

Other big items in the monthly budget didn't come close to accommodation, with food and clothing accounting for 19 percent; transport, post and telecoms 17 percent; and leisure and entertainment 16 percent.

And there was little change in spending on "vice" goods like alcohol and cigarettes.

German household consumption has been rising steadily in recent years thanks to low unemployment, increases in income, and low interest rates that discourage saving, Destatis found.

SEE ALSO: Berlin rents drop as price controls take effect

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