Demand for share housing keeps rising as cost-of-living crisis continues

Former Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said if Australians were struggling to cope with rising rents and mortgage interest payments, they might “economise” on their housing by getting a flatmate.

Five months later, that is exactly what is happening.

According to data from a flatmates listing service, Flatmates.com.au, demand for share house living has been soaring amid Australia’s affordability crisis and extremely tight rental markets.

“Half of all property listings on Flatmates.com.au are from home owners, with the majority of these being live-in landlords renting out a spare room in their home,” said Claudia Conley, the website’s community manager.

“An increase in property listings by 38 per cent since the same time last year reflects the growing trend of home owners renting out their spare rooms.”

But the demand for share accommodation is so intense that some areas of the country have no rooms available on the website.

Last month, suburbs in eastern Sydney and Perth accounted for the top 10 postcodes where hundreds of people were searching for each available room, but there was no supply of rooms.

“2023 has been Flatmates.com.au’s busiest year on record, due to a record-breaking summer and without our typical seasonal winter slump,” Ms Conley said.

“It’s clear more Australians are turning to share accommodation as pressures on the rental market and a cost-of-living crisis fail to die down.”

Demand for share accommodation bucks seasonal trends

Flatmates.com.au is owned by REA Group, which is majority-owned by News Corporation.

In REA Group’s 2023 annual report, released in September, it said the Flatmates website had added international ID verification in the last 12 months to support the influx of international students and working holiday visa holders to Australia.

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