Share housing becoming more popular with the over 40s

According to data from share house listings service flatmates.com.au, more and more Australians over the age of 40 are choosing to live in share houses.

During the first two months of this year from January to the end of February flatmates.com.au reported a 20% increase in traffic year on year in the number of people over 40 years old searching for rental accommodation on the website.

A total of 2,775 people aged over 40 years used the website to locate a share house to move into. 739 of those 2,775 people were from Sydney.

One of the reasons as to why many people, including those over the age of 40 are turning to share housing is due to the unaffordability of house prices, especially in Sydney as well as the expensive costs of renting. This is especially true for singles who find covering the rental income of a property on your own exceptionally difficult, and often sharing a house with flat mates is the only answer.

According to CoreLogic RP Data January Rental Index Results, the median rental price for a Sydney apartment is approximately $543 per week, compared to $406 for Melbourne and $409 for Brisbane.

Ned Cutcher, Senior Policy Officer at the Tenants Union of NSW, said that as buying a home becomes too expensive, people turn to sharing.

“Home ownership is hard to achieve and that puts a pressure on the rental market,” Cutcher said.

Renting laws in NSW are currently being reviewed and the Tenants Union of NSW are gearing towards allowing tenants more agency when it comes to rents increasing.

Cutcher also commented, “We are calling on the government to change the way tenants can challenge an excessive rent increase”.

Cutcher strongly suggests that landlords should be the ones to prove that the rent they are charging can be increased above the price of inflation.

Currently rental tenants do not have access to all the information that a property investor or a real estate agent would about the market conditions. This makes it extremely difficult for rental tenants to dispute an increase in their rental prices.

Another way that landlords can increase their rent is to provide a letter of termination to the current rental tenants to end their tenancy. As soon as the current tenants have vacated, the landlord can then increase the rent. However, Cutcher would like to see landlords provide reasonable grounds to end a tenancy.

Today, share housing is not all about young professionals and students finding cheaper accommodation. Share housing now appeals to a diverse range of residents throughout Australia, including those of an older demographic, single mothers and even retirees.

According to Thomas Clement, chief officer of flatmates.com.au, he expects the number of over-40s looking for flatmates to grow and states that “Share accommodation is no longer just housing for students or those moving out of the family home; sharers have become far more diverse and include anyone from single mums to retirees.”

Share housing is all about the lifestyle and living with people who you can easily get along with. It is also about living in an area you want to live in. It might be far cheaper to live further out west in Sydney, but this might not suit the lifestyle of these rental tenants who prefer to live in a nicer neighbourhood, close to important amenities and their workplace.

Of course, share housing is not always an easy walk in the park. You might not always bond with your house mates, so it is important when looking at share housing that you grasp a feel of the residential property and its tenants first before moving in.

You should try to meet all the current residents in the share house and see if there are any personality clashes that might make living in this particular share house a stressful experience.

Try to find out if there are any rotas on maintaining the property and how well the rental tenants currently look after the property. You might like a clean home, and if your potential house mates are messy, this might not go down well.

Just remember, a share house can be a great way to get closer to owning your first home as it can help save you money compared to renting a property by yourself. If you are serious about buying a property, but not quite sure if you are able to afford a property right now, why not speak to one of our expert Property Consultants at iBuyNew who can take a look at your situation and guide you in the right direction.

Call the iBuyNew team today on 1300 123 463.
Published on 30th of March 2016 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich

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