Older tenants moving into flatshares to save money

Older tenants moving into flatshares to save money

Increasing numbers of tenants are choosing to go back to house and flat shares after renting alone or with a partner.

According to website SpareRoom, 51% of its users are in this position, while a further 16% have at some stage been home owners.

With the number of new people looking for flatshares on the site having risen by 31% since 2011, the findings suggest more tenants than ever are returning to flatshare in a bid to save cash.

Over the past five years, the fastest growing age group of flatsharers on SpareRoom has been 45 to 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, but in 2005 it was 25.8. 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-bedroom flat (including bills) is £12,669 per year, while the cost of renting a room with bills included is £6,079 – a saving of £6,590 per year. In London, the difference in price works out to £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, home ownership could be within reach, will be incentive enough for many to stay in shared accommodation for a bit longer.”