The number of professionals searching for flat shares in the UK has increased by 33% since January, according to new research.
The number of individuals choosing to flat sharing exceeds 50,000 and the number of professionals currently searching for a flat share exceeds the number of students by 13%.
The data from flat sharing website Easyroommate also found that the number of individuals searching for rooms within flat shares has increased by over 2,000 in three months following a slight decline towards the end of 2011.
Since January the numbers have since risen steadily by a total of 33%. The slight dip can be attributed to less people wanting to rent at the end of the year.
‘In December the majority of people are gearing up towards Christmas and New Year, therefore the additional upheaval that is often associated with moving home can be very off putting and as a result we did notice a slight fall in the number of registered users. However the rental market has remained buoyant and we have seen a marked increase in the number of Easyroommate users, the majority of which are young professionals,’ said director Jonathan Moore.
Of the 14,000 registered users on Easyroommate some 66% are professionals, with an average age of 27. Moore said that this demonstrates that flat sharing is still seen as a viable option to those in their late twenties who are looking to minimise their rental outgoings and most likely still have student loans to pay off.
‘It is clear to see that flat sharing is no longer seen as something students do, however we are expecting to see the average age of professionals choosing to flat share fall. The rise in tuition fees will drive more students to join the job market instead of continuing to study,’ said Moore.
The average UK rent for a one bedroom property currently stands at £989, some 269% more than the average UK flat sharing rent, and 37% more than the average rent asking price for London, making flat sharing a more viable and cost effective alternative, according to Moore.
The average monthly rent for a flat share is highest in London at £550 per month, followed by £450 in Cambridge and £405 in Oxford. In Bristol it is £365, in Glasgow and Edinburgh £350 and £340 in Birmingham and Manchester. In Leeds it is £310 and in Liverpool £300.