Renters flock to share amid affordability crisis
on 25 November 2015 by Aaron Wischusen
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.
Suburbs with the most people looking (Per State)