Fuel bills drive up home costs

Soaring gas and electric bills have driven the cost of running a house up to its highest level for three years, figures suggest.

Halifax said its research indicated that the cost of running a home now stands at £9,083 - up £127 or 1.4%.

People have seen an increase in the majority of costs related to running a home, but the largest increase has been in gas and electricity bills.

Utility bills have jumped by 20%, or £237, since 2008, the largest rise for any of the expenditure categories, followed by a 17% or £99 hike in the cost of maintaining and repairing a home.

But record low interest rates have helped the cost of mortgage repayments fall by 21%, or an average of £956 a year, since 2008.

Mortgage repayments are the only category of housing expenses that has dropped during the past three years, while they declined by 2% during the past year.

The fall reduced the proportion of total expenditure that goes on mortgage payments from 48% in March 2008 to just 39% now.

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