Many middle aged divorcees are finding themselves living with other people in flat shares, much like students.
Last year, more than 60,000 people over the age of 40 placed ‘room wanted’ adverts with SpareRoom, one of the largest flatsharing websites in Britain. 1 in 8 people using the site are over 40.
A toxic mix of high divorce rates, rocketing house prices and a lingering gloom from the recession has caused many over 40’s to have to rethink their living arrangements and consider sharing with strangers.
The average first time buyer is now 35 years old and pays £184,000 for a property. This means that a person buying on their own house would need a salary of around £50,000 to get a mortgage for this type of property.
Matt Hutchinson from Spareroom, another flatsharing website, explained to the Guardian that the main reason for this increase in 40 something flatsharers is the huge increase in house and rental prices:
“People share for the first time in their life or return to sharing because a relationship has broken up or they have lost their jobs. Previously, people in that position would have rented a one-bedroom flat, but rents are so expensive now, that’s out of the question.”
Rishi Patel from Easyroommate explained to the Guardian that he thinks that this could be a permanent change in the property rental market:
“As property prices continue to increase, and the rental asking prices for studio and one-bedroom apartments go through the roof, more and more people will choose to live in shared houses as a money-saving alternative. Flatsharing is no longer just for students.”