Over 60% of Australia’s younger renters are looking at sharing to help manage costs, while more than 30% are already embracing the move.

In its national June survey, Rent.com.au asked renters to consider the impact of rising rents, the cost of living and their thoughts on renting with a housemate to alleviate costs.  

Australia’s cost of living is skyrocketing, with the highest rates in the past decade. Rent prices are also climbing, and Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe has predicted they’ll keep going up. His solution? Squeeze more people into each house. Because when prices rise, people naturally economise on housing – and sharing a dwelling is a simple way to do it. But how do Australian renters feel about sharing their space in 2023? 

What we asked:  

As rent and the cost of living continue to rise, many of us are trying to find ways to better manage household expenses. What’s your take on renting with a housemate to tackle rising housing costs?

Rent.com.au’s survey of 1,000 renters from across Australia reveals an important trend: more people are considering house sharing to cope with the rising cost of living. Interestingly, a considerable number of renters, especially younger individuals, are open to the idea of sharing a house. 

Survey responses Gen Z Millennials Gen X Baby Boomers Silent Generation 
I’ve always shared to save money 36% 14% 9% 13% 8% 
I’m considering it out of sheer necessity 29% 29% 30% 24% 13% 
Prefer not to, I value my personal space 29% 42% 49% 45% 38% 
I never have and never will 7% 15% 12% 18% 42% 
Click the above graph to enlarge

Rent.com.au’s June renter survey offers valuable insights into the changing dynamics of the Australian rental market. It reveals that many renters, especially younger individuals, are willing to explore alternative housing options. With the rising cost of living posing significant challenges, the growing acceptance of house sharing shows promise in addressing these issues. 

Younger generations take the lead. 

Rent.com.au’s survey showed younger generations in Australia are leading the house sharing trend due to the mounting cost of living. The study found that 36% of Gen Z and 29% of Millennials are open to house sharing as a solution to rising housing costs. This shows that younger Australians are more willing to consider alternative housing arrangements and recognise the financial benefits of sharing a house while renting. 

The increasing cost of living has led them to actively seek cost-saving measures, with sharing being an appealing choice. The significant percentage of Gen Z respondents embracing house sharing shows their adaptability and willingness to embrace innovative approaches in the face of housing market challenges. Millennials also showed substantial interest in house sharing, indicating a trend that spans adjacent generations. 

Necessity is spurring consideration. 

Rising housing costs are prompting many Australians to consider sharing. The survey results showed 30% of Generation X and 29% of Millennials are actively considering shared living arrangements. The financial burden of renting is driving individuals from various age groups to seek alternative ways of managing housing expenses. 

House sharing can alleviate the financial strain by reducing expenses and increasing affordability for renters. The survey highlights a growing recognition that house sharing can provide a practical solution to affordability challenges in the rental market. More renters are exploring alternative living arrangements due to economic realities.

Balancing personal space and cost savings. 

Although many respondents expressed openness to house sharing, it’s important to acknowledge that personal space still is a priority for some individuals. The survey findings showed that 49% of Generation X respondents and 42% of Millennials preferred not to share a house, highlighting the significance of having their own space to call home. 

And there are diverse preferences across generations.  

The survey findings shed light on the contrasting attitudes towards house sharing among different generations. The Silent Generation displayed the highest resistance, with 42% expressing that they would never consider sharing a house. In contrast, a smaller percentage of Baby Boomers (18%) shared this sentiment, showing a more open mindset towards house sharing. 

Steep and sudden price increases continue to affect Australia’s rental market. 

The rental market in Australia has been impacted by steep and sudden price increases. Rent.com.au data shows that rental prices in the country’s four largest cities have surged up to 32% in the last two years, making it difficult for many residents to keep up with bills and find affordable places to live. With rental prices staying high and the cash rate on the rise, life has become increasingly challenging for renters in Australia. Let’s examine the median rent changes in the past two years for the four largest cities in the country.

HOUSES Jun 2021 – Jun 2022 Jun 2022 – Jun 2023 Over the last 2 years 
Sydney, NSW 12% 17% 29% 
Melbourne, VIC 7% 13% 20% 
Brisbane, QLD 13% 10% 23% 
Perth, WA 9% 18% 27% 
Adelaide, SA 14% 11% 25% 
Canberra, ACT 10% 3% 13% 
Hobart, TAS 3% 7% 10% 
Darwin, NT 11% 3% 14% 
APARTMENTS Jun 2021 – Jun 2022 Jun 2022 – Jun 2023 Over the last 2 years 
Sydney, NSW 10% 22% 32% 
Melbourne, VIC 13% 19% 32% 
Brisbane, QLD 10% 22% 32% 
Perth, WA 5% 19% 24% 
Adelaide, SA 8% 13% 21% 
Canberra, ACT 2% 1% 3% 
Hobart, TAS 20% 8% 28% 
Darwin, NT 2% 1% 3% 

Renting can be challenging, especially in Australia’s major cities. Median rental prices have increased significantly over the past two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane collectively experiencing the highest surge at 32% for apartments. Sydney and Perth also saw significant price increases of 29% and 27%, respectively, for houses, while Hobart saw a 28% increase for houses. This data highlights the mounting cost of renting and the genuine affordability concerns tenants face in today’s market. 

Comments attributable to Rent.com.au CEO Greg Bader 

“What our renter customers are saying is probably of little surprise to anyone. The country is experiencing cost and availability pressures that we haven’t really seen before. Sharing accommodation is just one way a renter can leverage some control over their situation.”

“And whilst this is nothing new – people have always shared, but what this survey shows us is that there’s now a larger percentage of people who are now considering it out of sheer necessity. Whether it’s the younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials, who are facing their own financial challenges, or even Gen X and Baby Boomers who, despite valuing personal space, are now thinking about it due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in.” 

Rent.com.au

Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.

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