Renters return to sharing in face of soaring costs
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance
Call for more to be done to break 'cycle of poverty'
Large numbers of people are returning to flat-sharing after living alone or with a partner, new research has revealed.
House share website SpareRoom.co.uk's data shows that 51% of its users have turned back to sharing, while new flatsharer figures have risen 31% in the last two years.
UK rents haven risen by 9.5% since 2010.
While almost a third of SpareRoom users have always lived in shared flats or houses, 16% said they had once been homeowners.
And over the past five years, the fastest growing age group of flatsharers has been 45-54 year olds, up by 50%.
Total flatsharers aged over 35 have increased by 26%. The average age of a UK flatsharer is now 26.9 years old but, in 2005, it was 25.8 years old.
In London the average age of a flatsharer is 27.2, up from 26.6 in 2005.
Across the UK, the average cost to rent a one-bed flat including bills is £12,669 per year, while the cost of renting a room in a shared house with bills included is just £6,079 – a saving of £6,590 per year.
In London, renting a one-bed flat with bills is an average£19,633 per year, whilst a room in a flat or house share with bills comes in at £7,767, a saving of £11,866.
Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, said: “While flat and house sharing is embraced by most young people as an affordable way to live, some prefer to make the leap to renting a whole property before they finally look to buy.
“That’s understandable but, for most, staying in shared accommodation would allow them to save for a deposit far more quickly, helping them achieve their ultimate goal – owning their own property – much sooner.
“The standard of flatshares is improving fast as landlords realise demand for quality shared accommodation is on the rise. The idea that, by flatsharing, homeownership could be within reach will be incentive enough for many to stay in shared accommodation for a bit longer.”
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