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Affordability, social aspect drive decisions of younger generation

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House sharing is popular among SA students and young professionals as it allows them to afford rentals of homes in upmarket areas and those close to work or university, says Lisa Connellan of Knight Frank.

She believes this trend will continue to rise, based on the cost of living in Cape Town and the lifestyles to which these segments of the market aspire. Outside of these markets house sharing is not a strong trend in South Africa, says Herschel Jawitz of Jawitz Properties.

However, he says it is a growing trend in the US and Europe. “Key drivers are affordability and flexibility, especially in cities with high property prices and strong job markets. The inflow of new entrants into the job market, who want to live in the city, make house sharing or communal living an attractive option,” he says.

Airbnb has also opened the door to shared living, with many owners opening a part of their home or a room to short-term tenants.

“Co-sharing is growing with the Millennials and Generation Z, who are also attracted by the social element of sharing a property. “This is also an attractive option when relocating to a new city to meet new people.”

Multi-generational living is also being driven by cultures that place importance on looking after their parents and having them live on the same property, Jawitz says.

“This may result in financial benefits to both parents and children in terms of shared costs.” For Rawson’s Jacqui Savage, the trend of house sharing, either with strangers or family, “has increased quite significantly”. “We are finding a lot of people building onto their existing homes and making it ‘dual living’.

They either have their parents/children moving in or are renting out the dual living spaces to supplement their income.

“In the Western Cape, there has always been a higher dual living requirement for students in areas close to the universities and this has not decreased over the past year. However, I do see it becoming a more affordable option for families living together, where they can consolidate incomes.”

Although house sharing is traditionally reserved for students and young working professionals, the rising cost of living and ever-escalating property prices are seeing older generations following suit, says Re/ Max’s Adrian Goslett.

“The reality is most parents will live with their adult children for much longer than anticipated. “Whether it is your own children or simply a tenant, having another adult in the home who can contribute to household expenses can make the burden of paying off a home loan a little lighter to carry.” 

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