Home running costs 'fall by 14%'

Running costs for homes have plunged by almost 14% during the past two years, new figures have shown.

A report by Sainsbury's Home Insurance found that running an average home now costs £8,059 a year - when expenditure related to mortgage repayments, utility bills, council tax and maintenance are accounted for - £155 a week or £22 a day less than in 2008.

According to the insurance provider, a significant fall in mortgage repayments, which make up for 43% of household expenditure, is a major factor that has helped lower running costs.

Typical annual mortgage repayments are now 28% lower than they were two years ago at £3,466, following steep falls to the Bank of England base rate since October 2008.

Other factors that have contributed to the fall include gas and electricity expenses, with these bills having gone down by 9% and 6% respectively during the past two years.

However, most other expenses have risen, with the cost of maintenance and repairs, and alterations and improvements both increasing by 6%, while council tax bills are now 5% higher than they were two years ago and water bills have gone up by 3%.

After mortgage repayments, the second highest contribution to running costs is of council tax, which averages £1,439 a year, followed by home improvements at £1,216 and gas and electricity bills at £757 and £446 respectively.

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