Flatsharing market increases as rents rise

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The Independent Online

Rising rents have forced more than 100,000 more renters into the flatshare market over the past year, according to the latest research from flatsharing website Easyroommate.co.uk.

The cost of flatsharing is considerably cheaper than renting alone, according to Easyroommate's analysis of more than 60,000 room rentals around the country. On average, a property rents for £705 while a room is only £365. Lack of options for first-time buyers is key.

"The woeful level of lending to first-time buyers has been driving thousands of frustrated first-timers into rented accommodation," said Jonathan Moore, director at Easyroommate.co.uk. "This has driven up rents in the wider rental market – driving down the affordability for many renters. The flatshare market is absorbing the excess demand, providing a cheaper and more flexible alternative."

Meanwhile, research from commercial law firm EMW shows that planning applications for extensions have risen 5.4 per cent in the past year. "Before the recession it was easier to move to a larger house if you wanted more space," said Giles Ferin, head of planning at EMW. "Building an extension seems to be a less risky middle path."

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