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European Home Ownership  
vs Population Density
The chart shows that there is no distinct correlation between rates of home ownership and population density in European countries. The home ownership data shows that the majority of the population in all the selected European countries own homes. European home ownership rates in 2016 were at an average of 69.2 %, 4 percentage points lower than rates prior to the financial crisis. The country with the highest rate of home ownership is Romania, where 97% of their population owns a home. However, Romania’s population density is one third that of Germany’s, which has the lowest rate of home ownership (52%) among the nations shown. The Netherlands has the highest population density of 393 persons/km2 and has the seventh lowest home ownership rate. Finland has the lowest population density of 16 persons/km2 and is only two places above the Netherlands in terms of home ownership rates.
What does the chart show?
The blue bars show the percentage of citizens that own a home, measured on the left-hand axis. The orange dots represent the population density in persons per kilometre squared, measured on the right-hand axis. The home ownership rate for the UK is highlighted in red to facilitate comparison. The data is organised by ascending home ownership rates, with the lowest starting on the left. The data includes the nations for which Eurostat has available home ownership data for 2016. The population density figures originate from World Atlas Data.
Why is the chart interesting?
Considering that Germany has the lowest home ownership rate, relatively high population density and yet is acknowledged globally as one of the most prosperous European economies; their housing market is of interest. In the decade prior to 2016, UK residential property prices have almost doubled, while Germany’s rose only by 2-3%. Germany has a high supply of rental accommodation, as German housing associations and municipal authorities hold 12% of stock, private housing companies hold 10%, and property funds have 1%. The remaining stock is held by private investors. There is also variation between cities in Germany. For example, in Berlin and Hamburg, the rental property rates are 90% and 80% respectively, but in states such as Saarland and Rhineland, the majority of their population own homes. In addition, German government tax and policy on housing makes it more difficult to own homes. Citizens anticipate that the property transfer tax, Grunderwerbsteuer, will rise to about 5% in many states, an average increase of 1%. Germany also did not experience a housing boom in the past two decades, and their real house prices fell since the mid 1990s, unlike the majority of European states.
In Romania, while some analysts may assert that the high home ownership rate can be attributed to its cultural value in Central and Eastern Europe (other nearby nations such as Croatia, Lithuania and Slovakia also report high rates of almost 90%); the Romanian government cites their transition from a planned to market economy as a key factor in shaping their housing sector. Where homes in the east were previously seen as an entitlement for all citizens, they have recently shifted to being treated as goods to be bought and sold. There was mass privatisation in the 1990s of state-owned homes for minimal prices. Within the same decade, public sector home ownership declined to only 5% of the housing stock. However, the high home ownership rate is accompanied by overcrowded homes for almost half of the population, an area concern for government policy. In Europe, the issue of overcrowding is due to effects of the financial crisis on the housing sector, unaffordable housing for young people, declining incomes, increased costs of living, increased energy prices and the widespread loss of benefits and subsidies. In addition to these factors, Romania specifically faces challenges such as much of the housing stock being aged or ruined, negative equity, frequent flooding and inefficient energy usage.
In the UK, the housing survey reported that the private rental sector has doubled in the past 15 years and the home ownership level is at its lowest in 30 years. Evidently, almost half of English citizens aged 25 to 34 pay rent to a private landlord. Unsurprisingly private rent in London stands significantly higher than outside the capital, with London rent in 2015-2016 (average of £300 per week) double that of outside the city capital. Greece also hit an all-time low home ownership rate of 73 percent, as a result of their economic crash. Greek households spent more than 40 percent of their disposable incomes on housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, electricity and utilities. This is an average of four times more than their European neighbours.
Populism, Turmoil & the End of Central Bank Support: 
What lies ahead for Markets?
with Michael Mackenzie

Markets Editor, Financial Times

Wednesday the 21st November 2018

Michael Mackenzie has been markets editor of the Financial Times since January 2015. He was formerly US markets editor and joined the FT's New York office in 2006. He covered US bond and derivatives markets for Dow Jones from 2000. His talk will be focussed on asset prices, flows and investor behaviour and sentiment.
Royal Overseas League, St James’s Street, SW1A 1LR. 6.30pm – 8pm.
Members can reserve their free place by emailing us on

***BOOK NOW***

Eighth Annual
Economic Forecasting Competition

Kindly supported by 

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Click here to book now!

ERC Members can reserve their free place by emailing us on

In association with KPMG, the Economic Research Council is running its eighth annual Clash of the Titans economic forecasting event, which brings together three thought-leaders in economics in the UK. The Clash of the Titans is an unrivalled opportunity to hear economic experts detail their predictions for 2019. The winners of this year's competition from our professional forecasters as well as the public will be announced. Attendees are invited to enter the forecasting competition at the event. Titans each predict figures for GDP growth, inflation, unemployment, earnings growth and interest rates, as well as a Black Swan’ event which could upset their forecasts. The event is gladiatorial and fun- the audience and others then enter their own predictions and everyone competes over the following year, with the winning titan and leading public entrant crowned at the event.


Melanie Baker

Senior Economist, Royal London Asset Management

Melanie Baker is RLAM’s Senior Economist with over 18 years’ experience in the financial sector. She started her career at Morgan Stanley where she was an economist analysing currencies. She was Senior UK Economist at Morgan Stanley and analysed the UK economy and political risk events for more than a decade. Her period covering the UK included the aftermath of the financial crisis, Scotland’s Independence referendum and Brexit. She is a CFA charterholder and is also a Trustee of a local charity providing community childcare. She attended Edinburgh University and has a master’s degree in Economics from University College London.

Professor Jagjit Chadha

Director, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Jagjit Chadha is the Director of NIESR and an expert on financial markets and monetary policy, as well as aspects of monetary and financial history. He has written widely on the design of monetary, fiscal and financial policies. His main research interests are developing the links between finance and macroeconomics in general equilibrium models and has published widely in economics journals.  He is also editor of the Cambridge University Press series on economics, Modern Macroeconomic Policymaking and an associate editor of several journals.  He has recently published a book on Developments in Macro-Finance Yield Curve Modelling by Cambridge University Press and a number of papers related to the impact of quantitative easing on financial market prices. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Kent, and also part-time Professor of Economics at Cambridge. He was previously Professor of Economics at the University of St Andrews and Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge. He has worked at the Bank of England as an Official working on Monetary Policy and as Chief Quantitative Economist at BNP Paribas, and has served as Chair of the Money, Macro, Finance Study Group. He has also acted as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and academic adviser to both the Bank of England and HM Treasury, and to many central banks as well as the Bank for International Settlements, and held the post of Gresham Professor of Commerce from 2014-2018.

Dr Adrian Paul

Chief UK Economist, Goldman Sachs

Adrian Paul is an economist in the European Economics team. He first joined Goldman Sachs as an economist in 2009 and rejoined the firm after leaving in 2012 to return to university. Adrian received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oxford, having completed an M.Phil. in Economics in 2014. During his doctoral studies, he was a Lecturer in Economics at St. Hugh's College, Oxford. Adrian earned an M.Sc. in Finance from the London School of Economics, and an M.A. and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Cambridge.

Our host for the evening is Yael Selfin

Chief Economist at KPMG.

Yael is Chief Economist at KPMG in the UK. Her research centres on the impact major issues including Brexit and other geopolitical events are likely to have on the economy as well as on individual businesses. Prior to joining KPMG in 2014 she worked at two independent economic consultancies as well as at PwC for over 14 years, where she set up and led their Macro Consulting business, as well as oversaw their international economic research. She has a BSc in Economics from UCL and did further studies in Advanced Econometrics at LSE. She also has a Chartered Accountant qualification.
Auditorium at KPMG, 15 Canada Square, E14 5GL. 7pm – 9pm.
Non-members can book Early Bird tickets here for £15 (£10 for students).  Members can reserve their free place by emailing us on .