The cost of housing has replaced the cost of food as the biggest single item of household spending, according to the Central Statistics Office.
In its latest survey on household expenditure, the CSO found that the average cost of housing has risen to €147.73 a week, compared with €94.57 per week in 2004/05. During the same period spending on food had fallen from €142 per week to €131.28.
Since 1980 food as a share of weekly spending has fallen from 27.7% to 16.2% now. During the same period spending on housing has risen from 7.2% to 18.2%. Average weekly spending has risen 3% since the 2004/05 survey, going from €787.07 then to €810.61 in 2009/10.
Average household income now stands at €1,027.77 per week, up 4% from the 2004/05 survey. Since the 2004/05 household survey, the percentage of homes with fixed telephone lines has fallen from 86% to 70% in the 2009/10 survey. During the same period, households with mobile phones increased from 84.3% to 96%. The percentage of homes connected to the internet increased from 42.2% to 65.8%, while the figure from homes with a PC increased from 56.2% to 77.3%.