IF you’re one of the 50% of Londoners who don’t own their home and are currently renting, you’ll know rents have been rising much faster than salaries. Across the UK average rents have gone up 9.5% since 2010, and that’s been even more acute in London, where 16% of tenants are spending more than 60% of their take home pay on rent.
So how can you save on what’s effectively your biggest monthly outlay when money’s tight? The easiest way to reduce your rent without moving to the suburbs is to share. Recent research by leading flatshare website SpareRoom.co.uk revealed that renting a room in a flatshare is two and a half times cheaper than forking out for a one bed flat of your own.*
When looking for a flatshare, though, surprisingly it’s not location that’s key. It’s not even the property itself. When asked, most flatsharers told SpareRoom that people are the crucial element to a flat or house share, with just one in ten saying the property itself is most important.
“It’s all about the people you’re living with”, says Matt Hutchinson of SpareRoom. “It’s so important to find flatmates you get on with, who share similar hobbies or lifestyles.”
Whilst you may be tempted to go for a beautifully-appointed flat, if the flatmates don’t share your lifestyle, it’s a deal-breaker. SpareRoom reveals that room seekers tend to use the search box to find flatmates with similar lifestyles and interests, with keywords such as “vegetarian” and “cycling” coming top for 39% of searches. A further 31% of people tend to search for people from a similar background, such as Aussie or Kiwi.
“As more people cotton onto the affordability and social advantages of sharing it’s really gaining in popularity. Already 18% of Londoners are sharing, and as demand increases, so does the standard of flatshares available,” says Hutchinson.
“It’s clear that young professionals in London aren’t just looking to save money, but to live a sociable lifestyle with likeminded people.”
*Average monthly rent of a double room inc bills in London £642.89. Average monthly total rent + bills for a one bed flat in London £1598.09.
Win the perfect night in — with your flatmates!
To celebrate everything that’s great about flatsharing, SpareRoom is offering the chance to win the perfect night in, complete with food, drink, and the box set of your choice to share with your flatmates. A year’s subscription for Netflix is also included, so the perfect night in with your flatmates can become a regular occasion! Find out more at SpareRoom on Facebook.