As rents rise, number of adults with roommates at highest level in decades, study finds

SEATTLE — Having a roommate as an adult may be fairly common in the first years out of college, but more older, single Americans are opting against living alone. In fact, one-third of adults now live with roommates, a byproduct of rising rents, a new study finds.

Researchers at Zillow, an online real estate database, analyzed figures from a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau survey and recently interviewed more than 13,000 Americans, asking them about their experiences with renting and homeownership.

Apartment complex
With rents jumping in many major cities, the number of single adults in America living “doubled-up” with roommates is at its highest since at least 1990.

One component of their inquiry looked at doubled-up households, which are those in which two or more working-aged adults — none of whom are romantically involved — live together.

Since the late 1990s, the share of doubled-up residences across the U.S. has increased by nearly 10 percent, their analysis showed — from 23 percent of households to today’s figure.

The researchers were able to clearly link the increase in shared homes with ballooning rental rates.

As a rule of thumb, those making the national median income should save about 30 percent of their earnings for rent, but this ratio is hard to achieve in some major markets, they explain.

In Los Angeles, for instance, the average renter needs to contribute nearly half of their income toward their lease, with San Francisco not far behind (42 percent).

“As rents have outpaced incomes, living alone is no longer an option for many working-aged adults,” says Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, in a press release. “By sharing a room with roommates— or in some cases, with adult parents— working adults are able to afford to live in more desirable neighborhoods without shouldering the full cost alone.”

“This phenomenon is not limited to expensive cities,” he adds. “The share of adults living with roommates has been on the rise in historically more affordable rental markets as well. Unless current dynamics shift and income growth exceeds rent growth for a sustained period of time, this trend is unlikely to change.”

Still, the more expensive an area’s rent, the more likely multiple individuals will live together, the researchers note.

Additional data from the survey showed that rent increases were the largest catalyst for changing addresses, with movers’ biggest priority being that their new place fit their budget.

The share of adults having roommates was at its highest since the company began reviewing figures dating back to 1990.

Zillow’s data was collected from adults, aged 23 to 65, living in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas in October.

Comments

  1. Love to see a study on how many people are living in garages, back yards, attics. Every house in California has cars up and down the block, revealing too many tenets.

  2. The collapse of the nuclear family continues. Presages a hedonistic valueless society where we all live by our id.

  3. Especially when you go through a divorce and the X wife takes all of the money, the possessions, and the children!

  4. Supply and demand. The result of allowing millions of border criminals and economic leaches into the country in a short period of time.

    There is nothing greedier, or more selfish than a Democrat screwing their own people in order to secure votes, or wealth.

  5. remember the rent is too high guy? I voted for him, the truth is rents are too high because taxes are too high

  6. Zillow is a poor source of accurate information. Even Zillow’s owner discovered this in his personal house purchasing deal.

  7. that unending supply if illegals can’t possibly be increasing rents, can it?
    the govt subsidizing larger and larger swaths of section 8 housing can’t possibly push the demand curve one way, and the supply curve the other… could it?

  8. This is pathetic, the snowflakes are clumping together in an effort to survive the leftist policies they support. LMFAO

    1. Idiot. I’ve been renting a room for the past (going on) 15 years (8 of those years being during your messiah Obama’s administration), paying a third of what living alone would cost me. I’ll be retiring in about a year; only a moron would *want* to waste money. (btw…I didn’t vote for either your daddy trump *or* your momma the Hildebeast, so stuff the jamspoon, fool.)

      1. Piss off, Obama was a blight on the world and 10 of millions have suffered under socialism. You rent a room because you are unwilling to work hard, sometimes 3 or 4 jobs like previous generations. You spend your time on your damn cell phone stealing from your employer. You haven’t done an honest days work in your whole life

    1. How much was the property tax increased? You can always leave. Just look for a better deal. That is why you are renting.

      1. I’m an observer and have been paying plenty of attention to why these rentals are skyrocketing. I already have my home, retired and pay $350 a month for shelter and all of the overhead.

    2. I’ve been renting to the same tenant for 12 years WITH NO rent increases. Just repaired the siding this year. He is a good tenant, pays on time and never complains about stupid stuff. Your generalization is annoying. (By the way, my democrat city government continues to raise property taxes, so who is the thief?)

      1. This wasn’t meant to “annoy you” even though you’re few and far between. I’ve had a landlord that never raised rent for 7 years. I’ve also had a landlord that cheated me out of thousands BIG time. I also agree that your democrat city gov are thieves.

      2. I am not.sure why you aren’t raising rent. You should always raise one or two percent a year minimum if thearket supports that.or better. You are just ripping yourself off.

    3. They have that power because of zoning restrictions and city hall meddling with construction of new apartments. Without new apartments coming on line landlords.can raise prices as demand increases. Blame Nimbys, blame regulations.

      1. I lived in Reno when the rents were reasonable. Not anymore, I left. Californians are invading in droves and landlords are exploiting the situation. The fact is, all of the west coast from Ca. to Wa. is suffering from increasing costs of rental units. I now live in the Midwest (flyover country) and it’s much better here.

        1. Reno has a problem in that it can’t grow. Usually I despise government interference with building new homes and apartment complexes, however, in Reno, they are hitting a water limit, and only allow building if the builders – or someone – can find a source of water for the new dwellings. And yes, a bunch of Californians are moving in because of the proximity to the Sierras, and relatively low, compared to Bay Area, home and rent prices.

    1. Yes, because the west coast is ruled by greedy, high tax socialist who regulate the hell out of things, while opening the borders to economic leaches and border criminals (future Democrats) from failed and pathetic cultures.

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