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In spite of Europe enjoying uniformly record low interest rates, the cost of buying and setting up home varies widely from country to country – with a place of your own costing between 2.1 to 12.1 times your average annual gross salary.
According to Deloitte's latest Property Index report, released Wednesday, Israel was the least affordable country for one of its citizens to buy a 70 square meter, with buyers forking out the equivalent of 12.1 average annual gross salaries. The report pointed out that since 2007, real estate prices have increased by about 80 percent.
Furthermore, the 2013 housing stock was the lowest of the 16 surveyed countries, below the European average by more than 43 percent, making prices comparable to the most expensive European countries – the U.K. and France.
Even though it has one of the lowest average transaction prices, about 1,000 euros ($1,360) a square meter, an average Russian would have to pay 10.4 times earnings to buy a similar sized property.
Meanwhile, British buyers needed an average of 8.5 annual gross salaries in 2013. While the financial services group highlights that development activity picked up, it points out that the U.K. remains undersupplied, which is "one of the main factors behind the rapid acceleration in prices".
Inner London, however, continued to be the most expensive city in Europe with prices reaching over 10,000 euros ($13,630) per square meter, ahead of Paris's $11,100 square meter price tag.
The most affordable
Denmark, Germany and Portugal form the most affordable trio.
Domestic buyers shelled out the equivalent of only 2.1 annual gross salaries in Denmark, and around 3 in both Germany and Portugal.
Portuguese residential demand and prices registered a slight upturn in 2013 as the economy recovered but new developments are still being held back. Another big help to house-buyers – but not home-owners -- in Portugal were the continuing fall in prices as banks continue to have large amount of properties in their balance sheets that they need to sell.
The German residential market remains stable and the country recorded one of the highest price growths in 2013 with a 4.4 percent increase.
Finally, while the Danish market may be the most affordable for domestic buyers, it remains fragile, Deloitte writes. Prices may have risen in the largest cities, but they are stagnating or even declining in rural areas.
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