Zillow: Share of Adults Living with Roommates Higher than Ever Before
Nearly one in three adults live with a roommate or parent, the greatest share ever reported, according to an analysis by Zillow. As rental affordability deteriorates, more U.S. adults may be choosing to double up to cut costs.
A doubled-up household is where two or more working-aged adults live together but aren’t married or in a relationship — this could mean two millennial roommates or an adult living with parents. The share of doubled-up households has been steadily rising since the late 1990s, when just 23 percent of adults lived together.
The rise in doubled-up households coincides with increasingly unaffordable rental prices nationwide. Americans making the national median income should expect to put about 30 percent of their monthly income toward a rental payment, but in some markets, such as Southern California, the share is even greater.
– Los Angeles, Riverside, Calif. and Miami have the greatest share of adults living with a roommate or parent. These metros also have some of the nation’s most expensive rents.
– Americans making the national median income should expect to spend about 30 percent of their monthly income on a rental payment, but in Los Angeles, renters spend almost half.
The Zillow® analysis,shows that as rental affordability deteriorates, more U.S. adults may be choosing double up in order to cut costs. The share of doubled-up households has been steadily rising since the late 1990s, when just 23 percent of adults lived together.
“As rents have outpaced incomes, living alone is no longer an option for many working-aged adults,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas. “By sharing a home 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.
In Los Angeles, almost 50 percent of adults live with a roommate or adult parent, the highest share of all markets analyzed. Los Angeles is the third most expensive rental market in the nation, with the median rent at $2,720 per month.
In Riverside, Calif., almost 45 percent of adults are doubled up, along with 41 percent in Miami. Both metros are among the seven most expensive rental markets when ranked by the share of income going toward the typical rent payment.
“But this phenomenon is not limited to expensive cities,” says Terrazas. “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.”
When renters decide to move to a new place, a recent rent increase was likely the catalyst, according to the2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report. Almost 80 percent of renters who moved from a previous rental experienced a rent increase before moving. And when renters start searching for a new place to live, 77 percent indicate that the rental being within their price range is a top requirement.