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Household finances: Housing costs (OECD)

Housing costs (OECD)

Housing costs can be a substantial financial burden to households. Household costs as a proportion of disposable income provides an indication of the financial pressure that households face due to housing costs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Affordable Housing Database publication includes housing costs relative to income in OECD countries. Housing costs can refer to: (1) a narrow definition based on rent and mortgage costs; or (2), a wider definition that includes costs of mandatory services and charges, regular maintenance and repair, taxes and utilities. The data are based on household survey microdata and concern national household or population level data. In Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Korea and the United States, gross income is used instead of disposable income due to data limitations. Mortgage costs are calculated as the sum of mortgage principal repayments and mortgage interest payments, except in Australia and Chile (where only mortgage principal repayments are available), as well as in Denmark, and Iceland (where no data are available on mortgage principal repayments). For Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark and the Netherlands, no information on reduced rent is available due to data limitations. Cross-country comparisons should be undertaken with care.

OECD data are also used in the following dashboard menu options: Social rental housing stock (OECD), Household tenure (OECD), Home ownership (OECD), Housing prices (OECD) and Housing stock and construction (OECD).

See the OECD Affordable Housing Database ( for further information, including definitions, methods, commentary and analysis, in particular data and comparability issues. Source table HC12_A1.