Home Ownership in Europe

What percentage of European households own their home?

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Map of the home ownership in Europe.

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Home-ownership is an important part of many people’s lives, providing stability, security, and a sense of belonging. In Europe, the rate of home-ownership varies considerably between countries, with some nations having a high proportion of homeowners, while others have a higher proportion of renters.

Home-ownership is more common in Eastern Europe than Western Europe. In countries like Kosovo (97.8%), Albania (96.3%) and Romania (95.3%) it’s even over 95%. Germany (49.1%) and Switzerland (42.2%) have by far the lowest rate of home-ownership in Europe. They are the only countries where home-owners are a minority.

One of the possible factors that affect home-ownership rates in Europe is the availability of affordable housing. In some countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, the cost of housing is relatively high, making it more difficult for many people to purchase a home. Conversely, in other countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania, housing is much more affordable, and home-ownership is therefore more accessible to a greater number of people.

Another factor that could affect home-ownership rates is the prevalence of social housing. In countries where social housing is common, such as the Netherlands and Austria, renters are more likely to be housed in publicly-owned properties, and home-ownership rates are consequently lower.

In conclusion, home-ownership rates in Europe vary significantly between countries and are affected by a variety of factors, including the availability of affordable housing, the prevalence of social housing, and the demographic structure of the population. Despite these variations, owning a home remains an important aspiration for many Europeans, providing a sense of stability and security that can be difficult to replicate through renting.

The data for this map comes from Eurostat.


  1. What would be interesting to see is the same map with the percentages adjusted for the proportion of the supposedly “owned” housing stock that is still subject to bank mortgage repayments. If someone has a house but still owes 50% of its value to a bank, they are effectively renting half their property. In the East of Europe this might not change the percentages much, since many homeowners were created by the transfers in their entirety of socialist/communist state-owned properties to their occupants, but in the West of Europe, for example in Spain or the United Kingdom, outstanding property debt could be a significant proportion of the value of housing stock.


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