Global: COVID-19 and accommodation costs
August 6th, 2021, Christien Pheby

Global: COVID-19 and accommodation costs

For parts of the global public, COVID-19 has quite literally hit them where they live. Some have lost their jobs, others have seen their incomes reduced, and this has naturally made it harder for them to pay their rent or mortgage.

But how widespread is the problem?

Global YouGov data shows that, across all 17 markets in our study, 25% have found it harder to pay their rent, while just 7% say they have found it easier. Indian (44%), Indonesian (42%), and Emirati consumers (42%) are most likely to have found it more difficult to pay their rent, though they’re also more likely than most to have found it easier (UAE 19%; India: 15%; Indonesia 14%).

European consumers are broadly the least likely to have found it difficult to pay their accommodation costs – 17% of Germans, 13% of Britons, 12% of Swedes and 10% of Danes have felt the strain – but there are exceptions. In Spain, nearly three in ten (28%) consumers say they’ve found it harder to keep a roof over their heads, and a similar proportion of Italians (27%) – who were hit early and hard by the crisis – say the same.

North Americans have had more contrasting experiences. Data from YouGov Profiles shows that while just a fifth of US consumers have found it harder to pay their rent of mortgage (19%), in Mexico, two in five have had difficulty paying their accommodation costs. In both countries, a significant proportion of consumers are worried about their finances in a more general sense. In the US, two in five (42%) say they’re very or fairly worried about the pandemic affecting their finances, while in Mexico, this rises to nearly four in five (78%).


The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets. All interviews were conducted online in July 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.

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