Rental affordability issues are turning an increasing number of people to share accommodation, according to an online room renting portal.
Thomas Clement, chief executive officer of Flatmates.com.au, which claims to be Australia’s largest share accommodation site, said the site is currently experiencing record numbers of people using it to find a place to live.
“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,” Clement said.
“At the moment we have a record number of people with room wanted profiles on our site and the number is growing each day,” he said.
The claims come in the same week that research suggested rental affordability is increasingly becoming an issue for average income earners, particularly in Sydney
Clement said Flatmates.com.au is currently seeing up to 1,000 new users sign up each day, as the number of people searching for a room exceeds available listings by around 30%.
Unsurprisingly, rooms in central suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney are the most popular destinations, with accommodation in Surry Hills, Bondi and St Kilda the most sought after, but Clement said those struggling to afford those types of locations should expand their search.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
With the surge in people using the site, Clement said it might be time for current tenants to consider taking on a roommate to alleviate any pressure caused by rental affordability.
“As people are squeezed out of the rental market due to unaffordability and low vacancies, more are turning to share accommodation.”
“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 a big help to someone trying to find an affordable rental.”
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