realestatebusiness logo
Home of the REB Top 100 Agents

Rental crisis drives increased interest in share houses

By Kyle Robbins
21 June 2023 | 10 minute read
claudia conley flatmates reb vqf79d

A myriad of property and economic headwinds stirring within Australian society over recent months has inspired surging activity on one share house accommodation website.

Flatmates.com.au has revealed that the nation’s rental crisis and subsequent scarcity of available rentals that has vacancy rates across a large portion of the country sitting below 1 per cent, meant a record number of members, (69,400) joined the site in May.

Such has been the rapid tightening of the national rental market that May’s membership uptick is 36.6 per cent higher than the number who joined in April and just over 100 per cent higher than May 2022.

According to Claudia Conley, Flatmates community manager, the increased demand for Australia share houses has occurred over the past six months, with traffic on the site “starting to increase in October last year and has not died down, even after our usual ‘peak season’ ended at the end of February”.

East Perth is the Australian market with the worst ratio of property seekers to room listings, with 255 people seeking shared accommodation and zero rooms available, making it the most in demand suburb in the country, followed by Northbridge, Western Australia, which had 164 property seekers and just one available room.

The rest of the top 10 in demand Australian share house suburbs are:

- Sydney, NSW – 133 listings, 0 available rooms

- Cremorne, VIC – 120 listings, 0 available rooms


- Holland Park, QLD – 119 listings, 1 available room

- Barangaroo, NSW – 106 listings, 0 available rooms

- Henley Beach, SA – 102 listings, 1 available room

- Milton, QLD – 288 listings, 3 available rooms

- Highgate, WA – 95 listings, 1 available room

- East Melbourne, VIC – 277 listings, 3 available rooms

Ms Conley revealed the demographic of the site is shifting, even if the core age group of Flatmates.com.au members remain between 25 and 34.

“Members under the age of 35 have decreased 10 per cent in the past year and members aged 46–65 have increased by 10 per cent,” she explained.

“For our younger demographic who have the option, many are choosing to stay at home for longer due to the rising cost of living. Our older demographic may be looking to rent out their spare room for extra cash as the cost-of-living bites,” Ms Conley said.

In a sad twist, she also revealed that a growing number of the site’s older members are motivated to join the site by reasons other than financial, with “companionship, fighting loneliness, the safety of having someone around and someone to share household chores with just some of the many benefits associated with shared living”.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!

Do you have an industry update?


Subscribe to our RPM
mailing list

Subscribe to REB logo Newsletter

Ensure you never miss an issue of the Real Estate Business Bulletin.
Enter your email to receive the latest real estate advice and tools to help you sell.