Retirees looking for short-term flat-shares up 35%

One more thing to look forward to in old age: scribbling your name on your milk and sharing the loo with strangers.

According to Easyroommate.co.uk, the financial crash has put the squeeze on retirees because the subdued housing market has made it difficult to do the traditional thing: sell up and downsize.

“The finances of those about to retire and those in the early stages of retirement have taken a serious knock over the last few years,” said Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk.

“Many of these retirees have equity locked in their homes which they need to access to boost their retirement income.

“With the sales market in such a sorry state, downsizing is not a straightforward process and many find themselves needing to find short-term accommodation between selling their properties and finding a new home.”

The only good news in this is that the flat-share option is being used as a stop-gap. The  length of the rental period has fallen from over six months to just over four months, suggesting that  retirees are using flatsharing as a temporary crash pad  during the downsizing process.

More generally, flatsharung looks here to stay; and prices are rising due to demand.

Since January 2012, the number of bedrooms available for flatsharers to rent has fallen by 44%. “The last few years have been tough for renters and 2013 will be no different,” said Mr Moore.

“Falling numbers of rooms available to rent is putting strain on supply and leading to higher and higher rents. Flatsharing remains a much more cost-effective option for renters but anyone hoping to rent a room this year needs to be aware of the rising costs and factor this into their budgeting.”

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