UK’s standard of living position slips

January 22, 2013

Landlord Information

A recent European Union standard of living report* has indicated that the UK has slipped down the EU table though it continues to be above the overall EU average in terms of its living standards per capita.

These statistics always makes fascinating reading and tend to generate more questions than they provide answers.

In a sense, the fact that the UK is above average shouldn’t be a great surprise.  The European Union is now a considerably enlarged and countries that have recently joined in Eastern Europe may inevitably take some time in coming up to previous EU norms of living standards.

That might mean that in some respects, the UK’s position is perhaps artificially high when measured exclusively against an EU mid-point, as eastern countries are skewing the stats downwards.

What is perhaps far more surprising is that the UK continues to sit above countries such as France, Sweden, The Netherlands and Denmark in this survey.  Certainly, with the possible exception of France, these countries are normally regarded as somehow being wealthier than the United Kingdom and the result is therefore intuitively puzzling.

Yet few would dispute that recent economic hardships have affected many countries including the UK and that this must have had some effect on these overall statistics.

Certainly other recent stories have indicated increasing repossession orders and eviction notices and the forecast for the above-inflation rate rental increases in much of the country during 2013, is likely to exacerbate that.

The financial pressures on landlords continue to be severe and will continue in turn to generate the need to try and find economies, such as searching for cheap landlord house insurance or ways of furnishing properties more cost-effectively etc.

Travelling around the country, it is not easy to get a sense of the overall position.

In some locations, the five years of economic crisis and subsequent stagnation is having a very visible effect, which you can see on the streets of the towns and villages you pass through.  Yet in other areas, there appears to be little visible sign that the UK’s overall living standards are apparently declining.

Various surveys and economic news appear to be conflicting with each other at the present time and it is extremely difficult for landlords to understand just what is likely to take place in the year ahead.  To some extent, of course, that is always the case but since the end of 2007 rampant uncertainty has become endemic.

Whether or not the UK’s position in this type of index will continue to deteriorate over the years ahead has yet to be seen.




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