2019 National Share Accommodation Survey Results

Claudia

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We asked, you answered. Over 10,000 people in the Flatmates community took our National Share Accommodation Survey to explore the attitudes, behaviours and frustrations that Australians experience when living in a share house.


Our survey discovered three key themes when it came to share housing; affordability, how people share and frustrations with sharing.

What does the average Australian flatmate look like?

Thanks to our results, the average Australian flatmate is more likely to be female, aged between 25-34 and living in Melbourne or Sydney. Despite seeing a rise in members over 40 and 50, share house living is still dominated by young Australians with those aged 35 or younger making up 70% of respondents.

• 47% believe strangers make the best flatmates.
• 21% live in a share house to save money, with 55% hoping to own their own home one day.
• Majority of Australians living in share house accommodation are aged between 18 to 35.

How do we share?

You’re flatmates, not best mates! Almost half of respondents think that strangers make the best flatmates, compared to 37 per cent who think friends or 16 per cent who think friends of friends make the best flatmates.

We encourage our Flatmates community to live with strangers or friends of friends, as sometimes living with your bestie can put a smear on the relationship. Also 19% of respondents said that their favourite part of living in a share house was the friendships they formed (cute), so your new best friend could only be a share house away.

Frighteningly, twenty-seven per cent of flatmates only have a verbal rent agreement and seven per cent have no agreement at all. We urge all flatmates who are moving into a new home or have a new flatmate joining their abode, to create a rental agreement. If a formal agreement isn’t available, please use our own Flatmates Agreement. It’s super important all payments, bond, rent and cleaning expectations are down in writing, to protect you both down the line and to ensure you’re on the same page.

Affordability

It’s no surprise that the majority of us are in sharing situation due to money, whether it’s saving for bigger and better things or the fact that we can’t afford to rent alone. Fifty-two per cent of respondents currently live in share accommodation because they can’t afford to rent by themselves and a further 21 per cent said they share to save money. Although housing affordability continues to be at the forefront of many young Australians’ minds, 55 per cent of respondents are hoping to own their own home one day.

The glass is half empty for a quarter of you, who said “home ownership isn’t accessible and is entirely out of young people’s hands.”

From those surveyed, one in ten already own their own home, with 75% of home owners renting out their spare room to help pay off their mortgage.

On the flip side, you’re probably going to be saving some cash as 46% of respondents are happy to share subscriptions to Netflix or Stan. The same can’t be said when it comes to food though, with 16% saying they would never share a meal with a flatmate.

Frustrations

Messy flatmates can stay away! Forty nine percent of flatmates say cleanliness is the biggest frustration when sharing a house. To help keep the peace, we suggest making a cleaning roster. We found that the lack of privacy was also a major issue, coming in at number two (16%) on the list. Interestingly, flatmates that don’t pay their bills on time was only a concern for 4% of those surveyed.

There are many things Aussies love about living in shared accommodation and for most of us its a right of passage we have to go through. Thirty-four per cent said that the cheap rent was the best part about sharing a house (those frustrating habits appear to be worth it) and 14 per cent said it meant they can afford to live in their favourite suburb.

author

Claudia

claudia@flatmates.com.au

@claudiaconley_

Claudia is Flatmates' Community Manager. She loves her share house, her plants and her side-hustles.