Saturday 24 August 2019

Charlie Weston: It makes more sense than ever to hunt for good deals as costs spiral for householders

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Have you had a tradesman to your home to do work lately? If you did you are likely to have noticed that the price of repairs and other work is rising.

Another area where householders are being forced to shell out more is when it comes to the cost of electricity, while home heating costs are also on the up.

In fact, cost pressures across a whole of range of spending items are mounting for householders.

The cost of running a home is now rising 10 times faster than the rate of inflation.

Maintaining a home now costs €16,169.15 a year, according to figures issued by AA Home Insurance. The firm looked at a range of household expenses.

After mortgage repayments, the second single most expensive bill for homeowners is maintenance, repair and contingency funds.

The AA estimates that the average homeowner is likely to spend or set aside €1,246 each year to keep up with wear and tear. This is up slightly from last year. The figure equates to almost 8pc of the overall estimated cost of owning and running a home.

Taking average usage figures, the AA estimates that homeowners will spend €707 a year heating their three- or four-bedroom home.

A further €857 is spent on electricity, with seven firms planning to raise the cost of electricity.

Although the cost of running a home in this country is down about €5,000 compared with 10 years ago, it is still hefty.

It is hardly surprising as prices here are 25pc higher than the European average. We pay the second-highest prices for goods and services in the European Union.

Ireland was highest in the EU for alcohol and tobacco - 75pc above the EU average. Ireland is third-highest for cars, motorbikes, and bicycles - 11pc above the EU average. Restaurants and hotel prices were 20pc above the EU average in 2016 and fourth-highest in the EU.

Irish consumers are also paying some 12pc over the EU average for clothing.

And Irish households are still heavily indebted. Although the average debt has fallen, the average household is carrying debt of €29,576 per person. Irish households remain the fourth most indebted in the EU.

One thing that all of this demonstrates is how essential it is to ensure you are getting the best value you can for your money.

The key message is that across all the bills, you will see huge variations between competitors, so your need to spend a little time on research to ensure save you money at a time when costs are rising.

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