Friday, February 02, 2007

Where is the nicest place to live (financially) in the EU?

When choosing a country to live two things are important for me: economic climate and housing prices. The economic climate can be read off the GDP per capita figures whereas the housing prices can be taken from the Global Property Guide, which lists the “Average per square metre (sq. m.) price in Euro of a 120-sq. m. apartment located in the centre of the most important city of each country”. Housing prices are important because they are the biggest expenditure in many countries.

The mean housing price is 3300€/m2. I have expressed the house prices relative to the mean and then deducted half of this index from the GDP per capita PPS index – data I presented in here. I have given a weight of half to house prices since a full weight would be “unfair” in throwing the GDP distribution over board.

We see that Luxembourg comes out at top, because of its high GDP and low housing costs. It is followed by Belgium, Austria, and three Nordic countries. Germany is top among the big four countries. The UK is fourth from bottom because of its exorbitant housing costs (7200€/m2). The highest new accession countries are Cyprus, Slovenia and Malta.

So let’s all move to Belgium then, Luxembourg is too tiny anyway.

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