European Union cities had the highest housing cost burden in 2021, according to a report published on Thursday by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical service.

In Cyprus, the lowest rate of housing cost burden was recorded in rural areas (1.3 per cent), while the corresponding rate in urban areas was 3.5 per cent, well below the European average.

At the EU level in, with the reference year being 2021, 10.4 per cent of the EU population living in cities was found to be affected by an excessive housing cost burden, while the corresponding figure in rural areas was 6.2 per cent.

The excessive housing cost burden rate is the proportion of the population living in households whose total housing costs, are more than 40 per cent of total disposable income, after housing benefits have been deducted in both instances.

The highest urban housing cost burden rate among member states was recorded in 2021 in Greece (32.4 per cent), followed by Denmark (21.9 per cent) and the Netherlands (15.3 per cent).

The lowest rates for urban areas were recorded in Lithuania (1.6 per cent), Malta (2.9 per cent) and Hungary (3.1 per cent).

Regarding rural areas, the highest percentage was identified in Greece (22 per cent), followed by Bulgaria (13.3 per cent) and Romania (10.8 per cent).

The lowest rates for rural areas were recorded in Cyprus (1.3 per cent), followed by Ireland (1.6 per cent) and Hungary (2.2 per cent).

Finally, according to the report, in 2021, the housing cost burden was higher for major urban centre dwellers than for rural dwellers across all EU Member States, with the exception of Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.