THE COST of mortgages and rent has overtaken that of food as the biggest single household expenditure, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The average cost of housing has risen to €143.73 a week compared with €94.57 in 2004/2005, according to the CSO’s latest survey on household spending which is conducted every five years.
During the same period spending on food has fallen from €142 per week to €131.28.
Since 1980, the food spend has fallen to 16.2pc from 27.7pc while in the same period the cost of housing has risen to 18.2pc from 7.2pc reflecting the number of people that have taken out mortgages and the cost associated with home ownership.
Overall average weekly spending has risen 3pc since the 2004/05 survey, going from €787.07 then to €810.61 in 2009/10.
Average household income now stands at €1,027.77 per week, up 4pc from the 2004/05 survey.
Other statistics show that since 2004/2005, the number of homes with fixed telephone lines has dropped from 86pc to 70pc while those with mobiles increased from 84.3pc to 96pc.
The number of homes with a computer increased from 56.2pc to 77.3pc.