In 2016, monthly housing costs in Latvian households on average amounted to 140 euros, which is 1.6 % less than in 2015.
Households living in Riga on their dwelling spent on average 167 euros monthly, while in regions these costs were lower – 157 euros in Pierīga, 144 euros in Zemgale, 111 euros in Kurzeme, 110 euros in Vidzeme and 99 euros in Latgale. In 2016, housing costs comprised 14 % of the household disposable income.
In 2016, couples with children on their housing pent on average 216 euros monthly; housing costs in these households amounted to 14.4 % of the disposable income. Housing costs in households consisting of one adult with minor children amounted to 162 euros monthly and constituted 23 % of the disposable income.
Notably smaller amounts on dwelling were spent by the single person households. Housing costs in households consisting of one person (aged under 64) on average amounted to 121 euros monthly and comprised 20.6 % of the disposable income. Households of single elderly population (aged over 65) on their housing spent 89 euros monthly, their housing costs constituted significantly larger share of the disposable income – 27.6 %, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Nevertheless during the recent years the proportion of housing costs in the household disposable income has been reducing, in 2016 almost one third (30.5 %) of the households admitted that housing costs impose a heavy burden.
The greatest difficulties are faced by the households consisting of one person aged over 65, single parent families (one adult with minor children) and large families (couple with three or more minor children). For almost half (47.5 %) of the single elderly persons (aged over 65), 43.6 % of single parent families and 40.3 % of large families housing costs impose a heavy burden.
The smallest share of households saying that housing costs place a heavy burden was observed among those consisting of couple with one minor child and couple with two minor children – 15.3 % and 18.9 %, respectively.
In 2016, 10.5 % of Latvian households had been in arrears with the utility bills during the last 12 months (15.5 % in 2015). Regardless of the difficulty to cover housing costs, the smallest share of households in arrears with utility bills was recorded amongst those consisting of single elderly persons (aged over 65) – 9 %. Still the greatest share of utility bill arrears was recorded in households consisting of one adult with minor children (25.6 % in 2016, 32.8 % in 2015) and couple with three or more minor children (24.8 % in 2016, 28.2 % in 2015).
In respect to the problems in dwelling, 21.6 % of the households mentioned that have leaking roof, damp walls/floors/foundation, or rot in window frames or floor, 17.1 % were worried about pollution, grime or other environmental problems in area, 14 % were troubled by the noise from neighbours or noise from the street.
Comparatively smaller share of households was worried about crime, violence or vandalism in the area (10.4 %) and admitted that it is too dark, not enough light (8.3 %). The greatest proportion of the households, which were troubled by the pollution, grime or other environmental problems in area (28.5 %), complaining about leaking roof, damp walls/floors/foundation, or rot in window frames or floor (26 %) and admitting that it is too dark, not enough light (11.5 %), consisted of couple with three and more minor children.
Single parent families and households of single elderly persons (aged over 65), in turn, more often were worried about noise from neighbours or noise from the street – 18.1 % and 16.7 %, respectively.