by Aaron Wischusen
If you’re working on a story about share accommodation and you require any statistics or quotes, please feel free to contact us. We regularly survey our users, conduct focus groups and document trends in the market.
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Latest Press Releases
Demand for rooms outstrips supply
- Released: 25 November 2016 Data released by Flatmates.com.au has revealed demand in some city suburbs is outpacing supply by as much as 59 to one, despite being a month out from the industry peak period. Sydney City was the most in demand with 59 people looking per room listed, followed by Melbourne’s Fitzroy and Sydney’s Surry Hills with 52 and 43 to one, respectively. Sydney suburbs accounted for 13 of the top 20 most in demand, followed by the Gold Coast with four and Melbourne with three. Queensland’s Broadbeach was the most sought after for the state with 41 people looking per room listed. The data—based on room wanted profiles versus the number of rooms listed for each suburb—also revealed the national demand ratio was sitting at seven people per room listed. Flatmates.com.au Chief executive officer, Thomas Clement, said the high cost of renting in some suburbs coupled with limited stock in others was driving up competition for rooms. “We usually don’t see this kind of competition for rooms until January–February, which is the peak period for shared accommodation,” said Clement. Clement explained the peak periods were driven by university students commencing study, workers moving for jobs and international travellers arriving with working holiday visas for summer. “Noting we are seeing such huge demand for these areas already, my advice would be that those who know they need to move in the new year should not leave their search to the last minute. Particularly students, who will find the cheaper rooms close to universities will go first.” Clement offered three pieces of advice to those looking to secure a place this summer: 1. “Keep enquiring on potential listings until you’ve confirmed a place”; 2. “Always inspect a property in person and meet the flatmates”; 3. “Get the details about your agreement in writing before you move in”. ENDS//
Sydney home to 98 of 100 most expensive share suburbs
- Latest data from Flatmates.com.au has revealed Australia’s most expensive share accommodation suburbs, with Sydney taking out a whopping 98 of the top 100 spots. Darling Point claimed the title of most expensive with rooms in harbourside suburb demanding an average $387 per week, almost double the national average of $197. Following close behind were the well-heeled Sydney suburbs of Milsons Point and Point Piper with average room rents of $380 and $375 per week, respectively. Melbourne’s Docklands, at 76th most expensive, was the first non-Sydney suburb to rank with an average weekly room rent of $302. Brisbane South was the sunshine state’s top suburb at $273 per week, ranking 129th nationally. Chief executive officer of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement said the increased number of those wanting and needing to share homes meant more non-traditional share suburbs featured on the list. “Even just a few years ago sharing was still predominantly an inner-city trend, with people sharing homes in an effort to rent affordably near the city. This is not necessarily the case today, which is why we are seeing the likes of Darling Point and Point Piper on the list,” said Clement. “We are starting to see a greater acceptance of sharing not just to split the rent or bills, but also as a means for people to purchase their first properties or maximise the value of their spare space.” The high prices may not be a welcome sign for renters, however, with 78 suburbs now commanding average room rents over $300 per week. “While sharing will always be the most affordable way for people to rent, the high cost of rooms in some—mostly inner-city—suburbs may force some further out to find something suited to their budgets.” “The good news for seekers is that the number of rooms being offered is on the rise, which will mean more choice in suburbs, prices and types of properties.” ENDS// Top 5 Most Expensive Share Suburbs Rank Suburb Average Rent Per Week 1 Darling Point $387 2 Milsons Point $380 3 Point Piper $376 4 Pyrmont $370 5 Elizabeth Bay $369 Data based on over 79,000 private room listings created on Flatmates.com.au in the previous six months.
Australia's most shared suburbs
- The small inner city Sydney postcode of Chippendale – Darlington has been revealed as Australia’s most shared, according to recent analysis by Flatmates.com.au. The data revealed that 22% or just over one in five private dwellings in the postcode (2008) were listed on the flat sharing website in the past year. In equal second came the postcodes of Melbourne CBD (3000) and Brisbane CBD – Springhill (4000), with 19% of dwellings shared. Melbourne’s postcodes West Melbourne (3003) and Southbank (3006) also made the list in eight and ninth place, respectively. Unsurprisingly, Sydney’s steep rental prices pushed four additional postcodes Ultimo (2007), Pyrmont (2009), Bondi – Tamarama (2026) and the Sydney CBD (2000), into the top 10. Chief executive officer of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement, said his view of traditional share accommodation suburbs had been somewhat challenged by the results. “When we think of share suburbs in say, Sydney, we think of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, and Newtown, not Chippendale or Darlington,” said Clement. “On reflection, however, it does make sense for a suburb like Chippendale to top the list given that it’s centrally located to the city and universities, well connected by public transport and has become increasingly cosmopolitan. It shares this commonality with many of the suburbs that ranked highly.” 26 postcodes across Australia had at least one in 10 dwellings that were shared while a further 70 postcodes had between five and 10% of dwellings. However, Clement suggests the percentage of shared homes could be even higher. “At the last census, for example, Brisbane – Springhill registered 899 group homes, our data alone shows this number has grown by 41%.” “Given listings on our site account for around 62% of the share accommodation market the results might not include homes listed elsewhere or set up by friends, which means the numbers would be even higher.” Flatmates.com.au achieved the results through analysis of share home listings created in the past 12-months and private dwelling data from the Bureau of Statistics. Rank Post Code Suburb Percentage of dwellings shared 1 2008 Chippendale – Darlington 22% 2 3000 Melbourne CBD 19% 2 4000 Brisbane CBD – Springhill 19% 4 2007 Ultimo 18% 5 2009 Pyrmont 17% 5 4067 St Lucia – St Lucia South 17% 7 2026 Bondi – Tamarama 14% 7 3003 West Melbourne 14% 9 3006 Southbank 13% 10 2000 Sydney CBD 12% New South Wales Top Ten Map by J.McGrath Rank Post Code Suburb Percentage of dwellings shared 1 2008 Chippendale – Darlington 22% 2 2007 Ultimo 18% 3 2009 Pyrmont 17% 4 2026 Bondi – Tamarama 14% 5 2000 Sydney CBD 12% 6 2042 Newtown – Enmore 10% 7 2022 Bondi Junction 10% 8 2034 Coogee – South Coogee 10% 9 2010 Surry Hills – Darlinghurst 9% 10 2037 Glebe – Forrest Lodge 9% Victoria Top Ten Map by J.McGrath Rank Post Code Suburb Percentage of dwellings shared 1 3000 Melbourne CBD 19% 2 3003 West Melbourne 14% 3 3006 Southbank 13% 4 3052 Parkville 12% 5 3067 Abbotsford 12% 6 3053 Carlton – Carlton South 10% 7 3051 North Melbourne 9% 8 3168 Clayton 8% 9 3057 Brunswick East 8% 10 3008 Docklands 8% Queensland Top Ten Map by J.McGrath Rank Post Code Suburb Percentage of dwellings shared 1 4000 Brisbane CBD - Spring Hill 19% 2 4067 St Lucia – St Lucia South 17% 3 4169 East Brisbane – Kangaroo Point 12% 4 4064 Milton – Paddington 12% 5 4101 South Brisbane – West End 11% 6 4059 Kelvin Grove – Red Hill 11% 7 4102 Dutton Park – Woolloongabba 11% 8 4005 New Farm – Teneriffe 11% 9 4006 Fortitude Valley – Newstead – Bowen Hills 10% 10 4066 Toowong – Auchenflower 9% Full list of postcodes available by request.
Average age of sharers increase in 2016
- Released: 15 MAR 2016 Latest data from Flatmates.com.au shows the average age of someone looking to live in share accommodation has increased due to growing interest from over 40s. In January and February, the number of over 40s using the site to find accommodation rose by 20% compared with the same period in 2015. The largest increase was in the 60-64 age bracket with 43% relative growth, followed by the 50-54 and 65+ age groups with 31% and 29%, respectively. Consequently, the median age of those looking also increased from 25 to 26, while the mean age crept up from 26.9 to 27.3. Flatmates.com.au CEO, Thomas Clement, suggests the growth was due to a greater acceptance of sharing and high rental costs. “There is definitely growing acceptance of shared living, particularly amongst those over 50,” said Clement. “Some are interested in living with others for company, while many are looking to cut down on their living costs.” “In some cases, it has simply come down to people being priced out of the steep rental market and being left with little choice but to share.” While those over the age of 40 currently account for one in 12 members on the site, Clement said he expected the number to continue to grow. “This time last year, those over 40 only accounted for around one in 17 members looking for a place, we expect that ratio to continue to decrease,” said Clement. “Share accommodation is no longer just housing for students or those moving out of the family home; sharers have become far more diverse and include anyone from single mums to retirees.” 2015 2016 Median Age 25 26 Mean Age 26.94 27.30 Age bracket of those looking Percentage change relative to total number looking ’15 - ‘16 18-24 0% 25-29 -4% 30-34 -6% 35-39 6% 40-44 14% 45-49 19% 50-54 31% 55-59 15% 60-64 43% 65+ 29% Figures are based on 63,752 room-wanted profiles created on Flatmates.com.au in January-February for 2016 and 2015.
LGBTI sharers look to northern suburbs
- A growing number of Sydney’s LGBTI sharers are shunning so called ‘gay villages’ in favour of the beach and the North Shore, according to the latest data from Flatmates.com.au. In the first few months of 2016, the Northern Beaches saw the largest increase of LGBTI sharers with a whopping 279% jump in those looking, followed by the St George and the Upper North Shore regions with increases of 132% and 77%, respectively. Comparatively, Inner city suburbs experienced a 16% drop in interest and the Inner West fell four per cent while, the Eastern Suburbs held steady relative to the same period in 2015. While, inner city and Inner West suburbs such as Newtown, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Potts Point were still the most popular overall, the figures suggested increasing numbers of Sydney’s LGBTI sharers were looking further afield. Flatmates.com.au CEO, Thomas Clement, suggested there could be a number of reasons for the growth in the suburbs. “I think members of the LGBTI community no longer feel the need to live in these areas thanks to greater social acceptance.” “While these suburbs have played an important role for the community over the past 40 years, they may not be as significant to millennials.” “Generally speaking, high inner-city rental prices and perhaps even a declining night life in these areas may also be prompting people to consider homes in suburbs further out.” Lower North Shore suburbs had the biggest growth in interest with Artarmon, St Leonards, Waverton and North Ryde featuring in the top ten. Inner-west and St George suburbs also saw growing interest from LGBTI sharers, including Lilyfield, Ashfield and Hurstville. At the other end of the spectrum interest from LGBTI sharers in Darlinghurst fell 17%, relative to 2015, while Newtown and Surry Hills dropped by 12% and 8%, respectively. ENDS// Figures are based on room wanted profiles created on Flatmates.com.au in January and February for 2016 relative to the same period in 2015, where the member identified as LGBT+. Rank Top 10 Suburb % Increase of LGBTI sharers looking (JAN/FEB) 1 Artarmon 331% 2 St Leonards 291% 3 Lilyfield 252% 4 Hurstville 213% 5 Ashfield 213% 6 Summer Hill 194% 7 Lidcombe 174% 8 Waverton 174% 9 Woolloomooloo 154% 10 North Ryde 135% Rank Sydney Region % Change of LGBTI sharers looking (JAN/FEB) 1 Northern Beaches 279% 2 St George 132% 3 Upper North Shore 77% 4 Parramatta/ Central West Sydney 76% 5 The Hills 59% 6 Sutherland Shire 47% 7 Lower North Shore 39% 8 Greater Western Sydney 25% 9 Eastern Suburbs 0% 10 Inner-West Sydney -4% 11 Sydney Inner City -16%
Sharers eye beachside suburbs in 2016
- Data from searches performed on Flatmates.com.au in the first weeks of 2016 have revealed the the most popular suburbs for those looking to share. While these are not necessarily the suburbs with the most listings, they are the suburbs people are looking in, or, perhaps daydreaming about. Based on the data, it appears a sea change is on the mind of many looking, with beachside suburbs dominating lists in most states. This was most evident in Queensland with Gold Coast suburbs ranking higher than many of those in inner city Brisbane. Further south, Sydney’s Bondi Beach and Manly were the most searched suburbs in NSW, trumping perennial favourites Surry Hills and Newtown. In the west, searches for Perth’s Fremantle and Scarborough suburbs topped the inner-city haunts of East Perth and the CBD. Flatmates.com.au CEO, Thomas Clement said the higher number of searches for beachside suburbs were most likely driven by travellers and those moving to new areas. “Travellers and those new to an area will generally start their searches with somewhere they know, such as Bondi, Manly, or St Kilda.” “Combine that with local residents who are dreaming of a summer by the beach and you will see demand for those suburbs skyrocket.” Clement, said they expected 2016 to become the sites busiest on record based on the demand already experienced. “The start of the year is always the busiest period for share accommodation, as many people are moving interstate, starting new jobs or commencing study.” “We are currently experiencing a 60% increase in traffic compared with 2015, equating to around a 54% increase in users,” said Clement. Queensland Rank Suburb Avg. Room Price P/W 1 Surfers Paradise $217 2 Southport $194 3 St Lucia $229 4 Burleigh Heads $212 5 New Farm $220 6 Broadbeach $203 7 Brisbane CBD $272 8 West End $224 9 Paddington $203 10 Maroochydore $174 New South Wales 1 Bondi / Bondi Beach $332 2 Manly $348 3 Surry Hills $326 4 Coogee $307 5 Newtown $304 6 Sydney CBD $335 7 Randwick $281 8 Paddington $324 9 Zetland $340 10 Redfern $310 Victoria 1 Melbourne CBD $270 2 St Kilda $241 3 South Yarra $270 4 Richmond $245 5 Fitzroy $258 6 Brunswick $212 7 Carlton $245 8 Prahran $241 9 Clayton $173 10 Hawthorn $216 Western Australia 1 Fremantle $241 2 Scarborough $213 3 Perth CBD $262 4 Joondalup $196 5 East Perth $266 6 Subiaco $249 7 Bentley $168 8 Mount Lawley $219 9 Nedlands $208 10 Northbridge $258 South Australia 1 Adelaide CBD $212 2 Mawson Lakes $165 3 Glenelg $166 4 Bedford Park $158 5 Norwood $173 6 Gawler $161 Australian Capital Territory 1 Braddon $237 2 Canberra $277 3 Bruce $180 4 Turner $211 5 Campbell $186 6 Acton $234 7 Kingston $222 8 Belconnen $208
Renters flock to share amid affordability crisis
- Australia’s largest share accommodation site, Flatmates.com.au, says they are currently experiencing a record number of people seeking rooms despite being three months out from the traditional peak. Rental affordability in some major cities appears to be forcing people towards sharing, with 800-1200 new members signing up to the service each day. Flatmates.com.au CEO, Thomas Clement, said it was staggering to see the number of people flocking to the site in search of cheaper rents. “Traditionally, we see a peak of those looking for a place around January and February, as it coincides with people starting new jobs, moving cities or commencing study,” said Clement. “At the moment we have a record number of people with room wanted profiles on our site and the number is growing each day.” “As people are squeezed out of the rental market due to unaffordability and low vacancies, more are turning to share accommodation.” While the number of listings on the site was also growing, the number of people looking exceeded the number of rooms available by 30%. Unsurprisingly, Sydney and Melbourne were by far the most sought after place for a room, followed by Surry Hills (NSW), Bondi and St Kilda. Mr Clement suggested those needing to find a new place should start their search earlier than expected to save being disappointed. “The rooms on the site at the moment are turning over just as fast as our last peak season, so we anticipate they won’t last as long this summer,” said Clement. “Certain areas, in particular, will be more difficult to land a room such as city centres and inner-city suburbs.” “For those finding it hard to land a place within budget, we would suggest expanding their search to a few train or bus stops out of the city.” Clement also urged those with a spare room to consider taking on a flatmate. “If you have a spare room in a sought after suburb or one that is close to, consider taking on a flatmate.” “The average room brings in over $10,000 per year which would be a relief for anyone with a mortgage, not to mention helping someone to find an affordable rental.” Flatmates.com.au research suggested there are 4.3 million spare rooms in mortgage held owner-occupied homes across Australia. ENDS// Suburbs with the most people looking (Per State)
Sydney CBD average room rents drop 16%
- Data released by Flatmates.com.au has revealed that room rents in Sydney CBD have dropped a whopping 16.25% year on year, from an average of $379.28 per week to $317.67. Woollahra room rents saw the second biggest drop with 14.74% followed by Liverpool at 10.58% and Bondi with a fall of 8.55%. At the other end of the scale, Darlington experienced the greatest rise in average room rents year on year, with 14.78% increase. Dulwich Hill and Rockdale also saw large increases in rent with 12.58% and 11.52%, respectively. The data considered average weekly room rents listed during the third quarters of 2014 and 2015. General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement said there were a number of reasons for the drop in average rents, namely the increase in people wanting to share their homes. “The growth of share accommodation over the past year has seen more and more people open up their homes to a flatmate.” “The increase in range and type of properties has meant the average cost in some areas has fallen and in others gone up.” “It’s great news for those looking to rent a room, as it means there is much more choice in where you live and for what price.” Three quarters of Sydney’s suburbs experienced some form of positive growth in average room rental prices. By area, Parramatta experienced the largest growth in room prices with a 9.42% jump from $223.13 per week to $244.15. On the back of a falling averages in the CBD, the Sydney City area experienced the greatest drop with rents falling by 1.97%. ENDS//
Australia’s most competitive share accommodation suburbs
- Data from Flatmates.com.au has revealed Australia’s most sought after share accommodation suburbs, with Melbourne’s Fitzroy being the most hotly contested. The Victorian capital featured three suburbs in the top five including Fitzroy as the nation leader with 17 people looking for every room listed, while Collingwood and Windsor followed with 12 and 11 to one, respectively. With a ratio of 16 people to each room listed, Canberra’s Acton was the second most competitive suburb. Canberra Civic also made the list with a ratio of 12 to one. Rounding out the list was the Adelaide suburb of Unley, tied as the fifth most sought after area with as many as 11 people looking to each room. General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement said popular suburbs were desirable locations for both professionals and students, due to their proximity to the city and campuses. “In some suburbs there can be a huge disparity between where people want to live and are looking, versus what is actually available and where they eventually will end up,” said Clement. “Suburbs such as Acton and Fitzroy are perfect examples where low-density housing in a desirable area, combined with large student and working professional populations means supply won’t meet demand.” Clement suggested those struggling to secure accommodation should broaden their searches away from popular haunts. “There are plenty of underrated suburbs in our cities that can offer just as much in terms of lifestyle and convenience.” “I would suggest starting in your desired suburb and then move out. Try the next train stop or neighbouring area.” “For example, Fitzroy saw 17 people grappling for each room, yet over the river in Kew only two people were competing per room listed.” More rooms on offer saw less competition in Australia’s most expensive share accommodation city, Sydney, where Alexandria and Newton were the most competitive with eight people looking to one room listed. In Queensland, Brisbane City was the most sought after place to find a room with seven people looking per listing. In Western Australia, Perth’s Leederville saw six people competing for each room.
MELBOURNE: Share accommodation booms in Melbourne
- Data released by Flatmates.com.au has found that shared accommodation grew rapidly in Melbourne over the past year, potentially spurred on by the increased costs of living and renting. New room listings on the site surged over 110% in the first six months this year compared with the same period in 2014, while shared rooms soared a whopping 250%. The cost of renting a room also increased, with the average price for a private room rising in the first half of 2015 to $207.75 per week, up 3.4% from $200.98 in 2014. The average weekly cost of a bed followed suit, rising from $175.52 in 2014 to $181.17 this year, a 3.2% increase. General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Mr Thomas Clement said the rise in Melbourne property costs, particularly rental markets, had pushed more people towards share accommodation. “The last 6-12 months has seen a drop in affordable housing for traditional renters in Melbourne, leaving many to look towards share accommodation,” said Clement. “Those who once rented alone, are now offering up their spare rooms to help subsidise rental and living costs.” “While inner-city low-income earners, such as students, are now looking to share rooms in an effort to remain close to their campus’ and workplaces.” Clement said there was one silver lining for sharers, with the increase in the number of listings giving renters more options. “Earlier this year we saw as many as 40 people grappling for each room listed in Fitzroy, so the increase in property listings has given those looking far more choice.” Fitzroy currently has a ratio of 17 people looking for each room listed, while some suburbs such as Malvern East offered more rooms to people looking with a ratio of 4 to 3.
Individual room lets could increase rental yields by up to 27%
- Data released by Australia’s largest share accommodation site show landlords could increase rental yields in Melbourne by up to 27% through letting individual rooms. Flatmates.com.au made the findings by comparing average room prices^ with CoreLogic RP Data’s average rental prices for June 2015*. Managing Director of Flatmates.com.au, Mr Thomas Clement said the numbers revealed a great opportunity for landlords to increase their rental returns in an otherwise flat market. “Rental returns have, on average, only grown between 1-2% in the past year at best, while some areas experienced a drop in yields.” Mr Clement said. “Alternatively, if we look at a two bedroom property in Melbourne and what each individual room was being rented for the six months we can see a 15% higher yield in the combined rent versus a traditional unit rental.” “The figures also showed the combined room rents for a three bedroom home in Melbourne would yield a 27% increase on a standard home rental.” While he admits the results will vary from property to property, Mr Clement said it is something landlords shouldn’t ignore. “Renting an investment property out by room may not be practical for everyone, but in many cases the higher yields could outweigh the extra effort.” “Based on the averages, a three bedroom home rented by rooms in Melbourne could bring in around $6500 extra per annum than a traditional home rental.” Flatmates.com.au compared room prices for a two bedroom property with unit rental returns and three bedroom properties with home rental returns to achieve the results.
Share accommodation booming in Brisbane
- Shared living is on the rise in Brisbane according to the latest data released from Australia’s biggest share accommodation site Flatmates.com.au. New listings on the site have surged 140% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year. The average room price in the Queensland capital is also on the up, with rooms across the city increasing from $182.17 per week (pw) in 2014 to $194.86 this quarter. General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement, said they were surprised to see such a large amount of growth in the Brisbane share accommodation market. “Historically, rental prices in Brisbane have been at a more manageable level compared with Sydney and Melbourne, where share accommodation is the only option for many people to rent.” “However, the rising cost of living in Brisbane could be one factor that is forcing more people to share accommodation.” Despite an 80% increase in new listings for Sydney over the same period, Brisbane managed to briefly overtake both Sydney and Melbourne to become the number one place to look for share accommodation in March. Clement said it was the first time that Brisbane had dethroned Sydney and Melbourne. “Sydney and Melbourne have always been share accommodation centres due to their population, size and high rent costs.” Clement said. “We expected growth across all capital cities, but to to see Brisbane’s interest in sharing more than triple in less than 12 months was definitely unexpected.” St Lucia was the most popular share accommodation suburb in Brisbane closely followed by Spring Hill and the CBD. The South Brisbane suburb of Dutton Park was the most expensive place to rent a room with the average price hovering at $276.04pw, while the most affordable was Sunnybank Hills with an average of $148.35pw. Nationally, Sydney continued to dominate the property market with the state capital taking out 44 of the 50 most expensive share suburbs. Melbourne suburbs took three of the spots, with Brisbane and Perth holding just two and one spots, respectively. The inner city suburb of Pyrmont claimed the most expensive suburb to rent a room in the nation with an average asking price of $351.73pw. ENDS//
Sydney home to 44 of Australia's 50 most expensive share suburbs
- Sydney has continued to lead the property market with the state capital taking out 44 of the 50 most expensive suburbs in Australia to rent a room. Inner-city suburb Pyrmont topped the list with an average room costing $351 per week, closely followed by Zetland and Potts Point at $346pw and $342pw, respectively. The first 34 suburbs on the list were based in Sydney with Melbourne only making the list three times, while Brisbane held two spots and Perth just the one. Flatmates.com.au’s Managing Director, Thomas Clement said the results were not surprising noting Sydney’s hot housing market. “Given the fact that Sydney’s property market is currently well above the rest of the nation, it was not surprising to see it dominate the list,” Clement said. “It was surprising, however, to see traditionally expensive city centres so far down the list, with Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne CBDs offering lower rents than many suburban areas.” Worryingly though, the top 25 suburbs (all in Sydney) were commanding average room prices of over $300 per week, with Clement saying it was not a good sign for those looking to live close to the city. “While the high prices are great news for home-owners and investors, it will be the opposite for those looking for something more affordable.” “Share accommodation is already the cheapest way for many people to rent, however, the rising prices of rooms in inner-city areas may force some people further out in order to find something within their budget.” The average cost of a room in Sydney rose from $265.07pw in 2014 to $275.44 this year, while the national average remained steady at $202.06 pw. The most affordable Sydney suburb was Penrith with the average asking price of $186.62pw, followed by Liverpool and Croyden at $192.91pw and $196.95pw, respectively. ENDS//
Are sharers covered by tenancy acts?
- A recent survey of share accommodation users has found over half of respondents say they have little or no knowledge of tenancy laws. Alarmingly, one-third of those who said they knew little or had never read the laws were landlords or lease holders renting out the rooms in their homes. General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement said they were concerned with the lack of knowledge amongst renters and were endeavouring to educate their community through helpful legal guides. “Tenancy law is ambiguous and difficult to navigate, so we weren’t that surprised half of share accommodation users hadn’t looked into it,” said Clement. “Unfortunately though, many rental disputes stem from people not knowing or sometimes assuming what their rights or obligations are.” Those aged 18-22 were the least informed with 62% saying they knew little or nothing about the laws. “Sharers under the age of 22 are most likely in their first share home or rental property and would have never had a reason to look at tenancy laws.” said Clement. Clement said different state regulations and classifications of tenants made things difficult and confusing for those willing to research. “The subtleties of a persons situation can make a big difference to how the law applies to them.” “A large number of people currently living in share accommodation would only be covered under common law, as a result of verbal or non binding agreements. This means they are not protected by state tenancy acts which deal with matters such as bonds, eviction, rent and maintenance.” “Tenants and landlords in share accommodation can ensure they are protected under the tenancy act by simply signing the standard residential tenancy agreement for their state or territory.” Flatmates.com.au have compiled a series of free, public guides to help educate their community and others in share accommodation about the laws that apply. “We wanted to compile easy to read and accessible guides that explain the state specific laws for things like holding deposits, bonds, paying rent and agreements.” The guides are freely available at info.flatmates.com.au. ENDS//
Is home-sharing the key to affordable property ownership?
- Recent survey data has revealed that 68% of home-owners or those planning on owning a home would consider taking on a flatmate to help pay their mortgage. Over 2,100 people took part in the survey conducted by Flatmates.com.au with the results showing that home-sharing could be the key to property ownership for many people. New home-owner, Deena Vallance, 34, said she had considered getting a flatmate before she even purchased her apartment last year. “I have always liked having others around as I think it makes the place feel homely. Rental income was also appealing, as while I can afford the place by myself I also enjoy seeing the mortgage go down,” said Vallance. “It is not just about the mortgage though, for me it is also about freeing up spending money. I feel like I can go out for nice meals et cetera, guilt free when I have a flatmate.” Vallance also credits having a flatmate for improving her home-life saying the company and security provided was just as important as the rental income. “I decided to live in the apartment by myself for the first couple of months as I had never lived alone before, but quickly missed the company of a flatmate,” said Vallance. “I am useless in the kitchen so my flatmate is teaching me a few things, and I often come home to find she has baked something completely naughty and amazing.” “Security was a factor too, I don’t feel unsafe in Waterloo at all, but it is nice to know my flatmate would notice if I went missing!” General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement said that having a flatmate was a great way to cut down on living costs and make the mortgage repayments easier. “While, interest rates remain low, the rising cost of property has made home-ownership unachievable for many Australians,” said Clement. “Renting out a spare room would give potential home-owners a bit of extra income, making the mortgage repayments a little easier to manage.” The survey data also revealed 1 in 10 currently living in share accommodation were saving for a house deposit. Clement said that share accommodation is great option for those looking to save. “For those who don’t have the luxury of moving back to the family home to save for a deposit, share accommodation is the next best thing as it cuts down on your living costs, allowing you to save faster.” ENDS//
How to live rent free and make a difference
- With rental prices in many Australian cities at record highs, the prospect of living rent free is an an almost unbelievable opportunity to most people. Live rent free and make a difference to someones life.. (Stock image) Programs currently being run in Victoria and Western Australia are offering just that, by giving suitable flatmates the opportunity to live rent free in exchange for assisting the aged or disabled remain in their homes and communities. Homeshare is one such program run by UnitingCare lifeAssist which helps elderly people stay independent and in their homes for longer, thanks to live in ‘homesharers’. In lieu of rent, the homesharer is asked to provide up to 10 hours of practical assistance around the home helping with tasks such as gardening, cleaning or meal preparation. lifeAssist Homeshare Coordinator, Jeremy Picknell said the homeshare agreement is a special arrangement that is mutually beneficial. “It is win-win for both parties. The householder benefits from the practical assistance and the security of having someone live with them and the homesharer enjoys sharing the home of a mature person,” said Picknell. “A homeshare agreement is special because it is about the connection and friendship.” Leah, 32 of Melbourne, is a PHD student currently living in a homeshare with householder Adelle, 79. Not wanting to live in typical student accommodation, Leah said she wasn’t just drawn to the program because it meant free rent. “Saving on rent is helpful, but I like that I get to give towards someone’s life,” said Leah. “When I moved to Australia I lost my connection to the older generation through my grandparents. Being a homesharer has given that back to me.” General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement said free rent for companionship or services is more common than people might think. “In a time where the commodity of property is so high, it seems unimaginable that someone would offer a room rent free, but it happens quite a bit and it’s great to see,” said Clement. “What’s even better, is that those who are applying for these agreements aren’t doing so just for the free rent, they are applying for the opportunity to make someones life a little better.” Chief Executive Officer of Perth Home Care Services, Rosie Lawn, said the organisation had run their Shared Living program for the past three years and provided their clients with great benefit. “We have had various shared living arrangements for about 20 years, [but] the Shared Living team have been in place for three years,” said Lawn For the live in companion it means, “being able to provide assistance and contributing to the household so the person can remain living [as] independently as possible in their own home.” Lawn explained being a home sharer isn’t suitable for everyone and all applicants undergo stringent checks before moving in. “People who have an understanding of the mutual benefit and people with caring or understanding nature are most suited to be a live in companion.” Applicants are also required to undergo police checks, as-well-as interviews with the service provider and the householder. Both PHCS and UnitingCare lifeAssist provide ongoing support to live in companions and householders. Clement said his site Flatmates.com.au currently hosted three different providers who assist in partnering flatmates with householders in need. “It’s great to have these types of programs in our community and they have our full support,” said Clement. “We strongly encourage any applicants who meet the criteria to apply.” ENDS//
Student accommodation portal a first for Australia
- Students looking for accommodation in Australia will find their search a little easier next semester thanks to a new student-only accommodation listing site. The website, CasaStudent.com, is the first of its kind in Australia and allows students to search a range of student only accommodations for free. The site is a joint initiative between Australia’s largest share accommodation site Flatmates.com.au and the largest online student community StudentVIP.com.au. General Manager of StudentVIP.com.au, Andrew Maloney said CasaStudent.com was a service introduced to meet a genuine need for their community. “We noticed there were hundreds of professional student accommodation providers across Australia, but there was no way for students to search and compare them on one site.” said Maloney. “The StudentVIP team regularly receive questions from our members about accommodation options for them and at the time we could only refer them to their respective universities.” General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Thomas Clement, said the site would be a valuable resource for thousands of university students, particularly those who are coming from interstate or overseas.” “The site allows users to discover accommodation options near to their campus, and view available rooms including price.” “Rather than being a peer to peer site like Flatmates.com.au, CasaStudent.com is an accommodation portal that allows students to compare properties and enquire directly to the providers.” Despite only being launched less than two months ago, the website has already generated over 100 leads on its 62 listings. Maloney said early feedback from both students and providers had been very positive about the site. “Providers were excited about the product with some of Australia’s biggest providers listing their properties on the site before it even went live.” The site is free for both students and providers, with Maloney stating that the only condition is that providers are approved by the sites admin before they can list their property. “To give our users confidence, all listings on CasaStudent.com are vetted by us before being listed.” said Maloney. “This is to ensure we only list student specific accommodation that is safe, secure and of a high quality.” “Our goal is for CasaStudent.com to become the Hotels.com of student accommodation.” ENDS//
Cost of living drives up competition for share accommodation
- 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.” ENDS//
Australia’s most popular share suburbs for 2015
- Released: 9 MAR 2015 Surry Hills (NSW) is the most popular share accommodation suburb in Australia according to latest data released by Flatmates.com.au. The inner-city Sydney suburb beat out equally trendy centres Newtown (NSW) and Fitzroy (VIC) to be named the most sought after area to look for a home. Tourist hotspot Bondi (NSW) and culturally diverse Richmond (VIC) rounded out the top five suburbs respectively. The results, based on over 60,000 room wanted profiles, totalled the number of people looking in each suburb of Australia. General Manager of Flatmates.com.au, Mr Thomas Clement said Surry Hills was a popular place to look due to its proximity to transport hubs, universities and the Sydney CBD. “Surry Hills is a vibrant area with a lot to offer both socially and culturally.” said Mr Clement. “The area also has a large number of terrace homes, which are popular for those in looking to share a place.” “Add to the mix a major transport hub and you have the perfect location for students, travellers and professionals.” While Surry Hills and Newtown were the hands-down favourite suburbs for anyone searching in Sydney, those in Melbourne appeared more divided with men preferring Carlton, women favouring Richmond and couples listing St Kilda as their most sought after place. “All of these areas are desirable to live in because they offer a great mix of convenience and lifestyle.” said Mr Clement. “The option to share accommodation also makes these areas more affordable for those wanting to experience an inner-city lifestyle.” Most Popular Suburbs Surry Hills, NSW Newtown, NSW Fitzroy, VIC Bondi, NSW Richmond, VIC ENDS//
How the share economy can help first home buyers.
- Released: 18 MAR 2015 Owning a home might not be as unachievable as many think, according to Flatmates.com.au’s Thomas Clement, who suggests renting out spare rooms to help pay the mortgage. With average room rental prices in many Australian cities now hovering around $200 a week, the added income could help take the pressure of home owners stretched thin by repayments. According to a survey of share accommodation households, Mr Clement said a quarter were live-in landlords renting out spare rooms to flatmates. “Even though interest rates remain low, the rising cost of property has made home-ownership unachievable for many Australians.” “Renting out a spare room gives potential home-owners a bit of extra income, making mortgage repayments a little easier on the hip pocket.” Mr Clement said those with spare rooms could be making up to $15,000 per annum, per room. “With the huge demand for share accommodation in Australia, spare rooms are now renting at a premium with some inner city Sydney rooms fetching well over $300 per week.” said Mr Clement. Data released by the share accommodation site revealed that the average room across the nation was being rented for $183 per week, which would equate to just over $9,000 per annum. Average room prices also appeared to reflect property prices in state capitals with Sydney leading followed by Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. “Those hoping to save for a deposit should also consider share accommodation.” said Mr Clement. “Splitting the rent and bills will drastically reduce living costs and allow people to save for a deposit faster.” “If you’re determined to own your own place, don’t touch your super, get a flatmate or two.” ENDS//