Boom in flatsharing

Nia Williams

August 25, 2010

The UK population of flatsharers has swelled to 2,765,000, as renters abandon living alone to save money during the economic crisis, or are unable to get onto the property ladder.

Collectively flatsharers in the UK are saving themselves almost £10.2bn per year in shared rent and bills by living together. In an online poll of 2,453 sharers by easyroommate.co.uk, 62% said they choose to flatshare because it is cheaper than renting alone or buying.

The cost of living in a flatshare is significantly cheaper than renting alone, according to easyroommate.co.uk’s analysis of over 49,000 room rentals around the country. By sharing a two bedroom flat with one other person the average annual saving in rent and bills (including gas, electricity, water, council tax, broadband, TV licence, phone line and satellite TV) is £3,750 over privately renting a one bedroom flat.

The savings are even bigger for those prepared to live with more flatmates. Sharing with three other flatmates (in a four bedroom home) typically saves £4,100 a year, while bills and rent work out £5,225 less in a five bedroom house with four housemates than in a one bedroom flat.

Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk, said: “Since the credit crunch kicked in, more and more renters have had to dismiss the idea of not only buying, but also renting alone. Instead they are choosing to see out the economic slump – and the complete dearth of potential mortgage finance – in flatshares. In July alone, we saw 17% more flatsharers join the site than the same time last year.

“And we expect this trend to continue as the imminent public sector spending cuts will hit renters’ – and would-be buyers’ – household finances. On top of drastically reducing the amount of cash they haemorrhage every year in rent, flatsharing allows renters to club together to meet the cost of bills, council tax and even food.”

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