Property websites report an increase in the number of young couples being forced to move in with flatmates because they can’t afford to buy their own home. Since the start of 2010 the number of young couples searching the web for a shared, double room in a large house has increased greatly.
Websites who specialise in house and flat sharing have seen a huge increase in demand in places like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow. Nearly 8% of the 1,000,000 visitors to the website Easyroommate each month are now couples who are looking to share; this is double the number from 2009.
Easyroommate Director, Jonathan Moore says “We are absolutely noticing the trend; the problem they face is only around a quarter of flat shares will accept a couple, so the choice is limited.”
While Gumtree’s Sam Taylor states that there has been a massive increase in searches from couples since the start of the year and remarked “We’re seeing a huge increase in the numbers visiting the site, but we’re not seeing an increase in the number of flats listed, so clearly there is an increase in demand but not in supply.”
On average an advert on Gumtree for a spare room or flat share would last for 3 weeks in January, now it lasts for just five days. Because more people are chasing a limited number of rooms, the rental prices are being pushed up.
In London the average rental price has seen an increase of over 10% and many property investors are rushing to get landlord insurance in place as they snap up properties to let. Many letting agents are even reporting rental properties going to sealed bids as people in the capital become more desperate to get decent accommodation.