sharehouses
Flatmates are not immune from the rental crisis. Image – Canva.
  • 62% of housemates have introduced new rules to keep cost of living down, such as cooking together
  • Most of those who live in share accommodation do so due to rent prices
  • Australians aged 65-74 the fastest growing share house demographic

A survey conducted by flatmates.com.au has found that nearly half of Australians in shared accommodation are struggling to pay rent, amid increasing inflationary pressures.

The survey noted that 45% of flatmates have experienced a rent increase in the last six months.

It also noted that flatmates are getting more creative to help keep costs down, with 62% introducing new house rules to cost the cost of living down.

This included cooking meals together (23%), new rules for heater usage (22%) and working or studying away from home to keep bills home (10%).

Claudia Conley, Flatmates Community Manager, said the pandemic has driven many renters to re-evaluate where and who they wanted to live with, with more space topping the list of requirements in a home.

“This year, we’ve seen the share house market change significantly. With COVID normal underway, there’s been a shift from a desire for more space to simply being able to pay the bills.

“A large proportion of the Flatmates.com.au community live in share accommodation due to financial reasons, and current market pressures and the rising cost of living are taking a toll.

“Facing these pressures, we’ve seen share houses work together to navigate higher rents and costs, whether that means finding new ways to save money or looking for cheaper rooms to rent.”

Claudia Conley, Flatmates Community Manager

The survey found that 57% of respondents living in share accommodation due to financial reasons, with one in 10 co-living due to tight competition for solo rentals.

52% of those who seen their share of the rent increase reported that the increase was far more than expected.

Competition for rentals extends to sharehouses

The survey found its taking longer to find a room, with 25% saying it took longer than usual to find a home, with 28% having to pay more to secure the room. Only 30% managed to find a new room under four week, a steep decline given that 62% found a home under four weeks before January 2022.

The survey found the Australian dream is not over; 56% hope to still own a property one day.

Share houses changing faces

The survey also found that the face of share houses is evolving, with room seekers between 65 and 74 the fastest growing demographic in Australian share houses, with a  25% rise over the five years to 2021.

“Share houses today come in all shapes and sizes. Typical university share houses aren’t dominating the market like they used to. Companionship and an additional income stream are increasingly popular reasons landlords opt into share house living,  said Ms Conley.

“With the rising cost of living and limited rental stock, we are seeing the number of diverse share houses full of families, single parents, elderly sharers, migrants and empty nesters continue to grow.”



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