17% of Londoners share bedrooms to cut costs

The price of living in London has always been a hard pill to swallow, but a shocking percentage of young people are now having to share rooms and sacrifice living space to be able to live in the capital at all.

You’re a newly employed graduate with your dream job in the big smoke, excited to be living and working in the capital. But the brutal reality is that living in London will probably leave you broke, claustrophobic and able to write the perfect passive aggressive “do your damn washing up” note.

A survey by flat and house share site, Spare room, discovered that young couples are so desperate to save money that they move in together and share with others. They found that 17% of all sharers in London stay in the same room whilst 5% are forced to share a bed.

Young people have to be particularly savvy with small and often cramped living spaces, especially when they are forced to sacrifice living spaces for another tenant. It is now common amongst young people to use landing and corridor spaces to dine in and socialise with friends.

House sharers are even attempting to cut living costs by renting out living rooms as extra bedrooms.

But the growth in London house sharers is not just a result of desperate city workers in search of a metropolitan home, it is a consequence of having too many people in the city and not enough places to live.

Professionals want to live in London and near their workplace, but trying to cut commuting expenditure is costing them even more in monthly rent.

Over half of those who rent property spend 40% on their living costs each month, whereas only 1-in-20 home owners with a mortgage spend more than 40%.

Renting is expensive but buying a property is almost impossible amidst the current London housing crisis and extreme price increases.

House prices in London increased last year – 18% over the last 12 months – and this is forcing tenants to continue renting rather than even attempting to get a foot on the property ladder.

And with London’s population expected to grow by more than one million over the next few years, sharing homes or “hutching up” – is likely to become even more common.

If you want to live in London, I’d start saving.

Picture: Roger Kidd

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