Cost of living drives up competition for share accommodation
by Aaron Wischusen
Released: 12 MAR 2015
According to Australia’s largest share accommodation site, Flatmates.com.au, demand for some inner city suburbs is outstripping supply with as many as 30 people looking to every one room listed.
Melbourne, Perth and Canberra suburbs were the toughest to find accommodation, with returning university students placing further strain on the market.
The ratios were based on over 60,000 room wanted profiles created on the site during January and February.
General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Mr Thomas Clement said the time of year coupled with growing housing costs are driving the increased competition.
“January and February are traditionally the busiest time of year for people to seek share accommodation.” said Mr Clement.
“With people starting new jobs, moving cities and students commencing study, the new year can increase competition for some places.”
Fitzroy was the most competitive suburb to land a room with 30 people looking to every one listed, while neighbouring suburb Carlton experienced 17 people per room.
Canberra proved just as tough with 18 people competing for every room listed.
In the west, Perth City and Fremantle showed the greatest demand with 23 and 20 people per room, respectively.
While seasonality can be blamed for some of the increase, Mr Clement said everyday living pressures were also driving people to share.
“The days when share accommodation was simply for students or those first moving out of home are long gone.”
“With many being priced out of the home-owner and even rental markets, share accommodation is the only viable option left.”
“Despite a common misconception of people in share accommodation, our average user is 27 and full time employed.”
“Recently we have also noticed an increase in non-traditional users of our service, such as pensioners, single parents and couples, who are searching for decent, affordable accommodation.”
Mr Clement’s advice to those looking was to get in early and broaden their search.
“Those looking should consider broadening their search to surrounding suburbs that can offer just as much in the way of convenience and lifestyle.” said Mr Clement.
“For example there were approximately nine people looking for every one room listed over the last two months in Surry Hills, compare that with slightly further out suburb of Zetland where there were just two people looking per room.”