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Saving a deposit towards a property purchase is becoming increasingly challenging as rental costs rise at a rate unseen for some time.
Capital city rents grew a solid 4.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year alone, according to RP Data/Rismark.
Kristy Sheppard, spokesperson for Mortgage Choice, said share housing is one way Australians are looking to find their way around rental cost barriers.
“With rents on an upward trajectory that we haven’t seen for some time, affordable share housing is a clever way to save more of a deposit or to save it faster.
“It can also help make home loan repayments less of a burden after the purchase, though it may not be the ideal scenario.”
Mortgage Choice’s recent Future First Homebuyer Survey found share housing as a strategy considered by a significant proportion of its 1,013 respondents.
“Eight per cent of our recent 2011 Future First Homebuyer Survey respondents had already saved, or planned to save, on rent by moving to cheaper shared accommodation before buying and 14 per cent will rent out one or more rooms after the purchase.”
And share housing is not just for the young, according to Ms Sheppard.
“Our regular consumer surveys show us first time property buyers are getting older. I wouldn’t be surprised if shared rental housing is an option increasingly utilised by older people as another way to make saving a home deposit easier. If so, this would be especially prevalent in areas of dense housing and high property prices and living costs. “
Ms Sheppard said rising living costs could make share housing a more common part of property buyers’ long term strategies.
“Inhabiting the same rental space with people outside your family or romantic relationship is often a financial necessity when utility, petrol and other costs increase as they have recently. The same goes for home owners who are looking to create more room in their budget.
“With the outlook suggesting Australia is set to experience continued rent and other living cost hikes as well as interest rate rises, people who are determined to be property owners may want to look at share housing as a longer term cost-saving strategy.”