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2.5 million Australians move in with family or friends as cost of living soars


More than one in ten Australians have turned to shared housing in the past year as a way to combat the skyrocketing cost of living, according to new research by Finder.

The survey of 1,070 respondents found that 12% of Australians, equivalent to 2.5 million people, have moved into shared housing in the past 12 months. Among them, 5% (an estimated one million people) cited soaring rental costs as the reason for their decision, while 3% could no longer afford their mortgage repayments.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said that as housing costs continue to strain budgets, many Australians are taking action.

“Rents and mortgages have gone through the roof – they are the number-one source of financial stress in Australia and people can no longer cut costs elsewhere to get by,” Mr Cooke said.

Analysis by Finder shows that the average Australian could save $16,000 a year by swapping flat sharing for living in the family home rent-free, assuming they save $300.50 per week on rent (about half the median-priced capital city rental in the December quarter) and put the funds into a savings account with a 5.5% p.a interest rate.

“Reducing or eliminating accommodation costs – if you are in a position to do so – will significantly improve your cash flow and you will accrue savings much quicker,” Mr Cooke added.

While shared living might take some getting used to, Mr Cooke noted that it is a financially savvy decision when times are tough, as it can reduce housing costs, utility bills, and even grocery expenses.


The research also found that 16% of Australians already live with others.

For those unable to move back in with family, Finder suggests considering roommates, negotiating with landlords, exploring different neighbourhoods, and downsizing as potential ways to save on rent.

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