Share of Adults Living with Roommates Higher than Ever Before

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As rents across the country rise, many working adults are doubling up with roommates or parents in order to cut costs and share living expenses

- Across the country, 30 percent of adults live with either a roommate or parent, up eight percentage points since 2000.

- 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.

Dec 14, 2017

SEATTLE, Dec. 14, 2017 / / -- Nationally, nearly one in three adults live with a roommate or parent, the greatest share ever reportedi, according to a new Zillow® analysisii. As rental affordability deteriorates, more U.S. adults may be choosing double up in order to cut costs.

A doubled-up household is where two or more working-agediii 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 the share is even greater. In Los Angeles, renters spend almost half of their monthly income on rent. In San Francisco, renters spend 42 percent of their income on rent each month.

"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. But this phenomenon is not limited to expensive cities. 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."

Metros with the greatest share of adults doubling up also have some of the most expensive rents. 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 nationiv, with the median rent at $2,720 per monthv.

Riverside, Calif. and Miami metros also have a high percentage of doubled-up households. In Riverside, 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.

When renters decide to move to a new place, a recent rent increase was likely the catalyst, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Reportvi. 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.

Metropolitan  Area

2016 - Percent of Adults Living in Doubled-Up Households

2000 - Percent of Adults Living in Doubled-Up Households

2017 Q3 Rental Affordability

Zillow Rent Indexvii  
(ZRI)

United States

30.2%

22.1%

29.1%

$              1,432

New York, NY

40.0%

32.7%

39.3%

$              2,393

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

45.5%

37.4%

48.4%

$              2,720

Chicago, IL

32.4%

27.4%

29.7%

$              1,651

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

30.0%

22.6%

30.2%

$              1,596

Philadelphia, PA

33.0%

23.9%

27.7%

$              1,578

Houston, TX

32.8%

24.3%

28.8%

$              1,532

Washington, DC

34.6%

27.1%

26.1%

$              2,133

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

41.0%

30.1%

41.0%

$              1,848

Atlanta, GA

31.7%

25.5%

26.0%

$              1,379

Boston, MA

32.3%

25.3%

33.8%

$              2,365

San Francisco, CA

38.5%

32.3%

42.4%

$              3,379

Detroit, MI

29.5%

23.3%

24.9%

$              1,181

Riverside, CA

43.7%

28.2%

36.7%

$              1,840

Phoenix, AZ

32.2%

23.6%

27.3%

$              1,344

Seattle, WA

28.3%

20.0%

30.2%

$              2,198

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

23.5%

17.5%

26.6%

$              1,623

San Diego, CA

37.9%

28.6%

42.0%

$              2,535

Saint Louis, MO

25.2%

18.7%

23.1%

$              1,139

Tampa, FL

29.0%

19.1%

32.1%

$              1,364

Baltimore, MD

33.4%

23.4%

27.4%

$              1,730

Denver, CO

27.1%

20.7%

32.4%

$              2,035

Pittsburgh, PA

24.5%

18.5%

22.5%

$              1,067

Portland, OR

28.5%

20.2%

32.5%

$              1,872

Charlotte, NC

26.4%

19.9%

26.9%

$              1,284

Sacramento, CA

33.1%

21.7%

31.8%

$              1,813

San Antonio, TX

37.2%

23.6%

28.0%

$              1,335

Orlando, FL

35.0%

22.8%

32.0%

$           1,430viii  

Cincinnati, OH

24.0%

16.3%

25.6%

$              1,273

Cleveland, OH

23.7%

20.3%

25.5%

$              1,139

Kansas City, MO

23.1%

17.2%

23.8%

$              1,268

Las Vegas, NV

36.4%

27.7%

28.0%

$              1,284

Columbus, OH

24.2%

16.6%

25.9%

$              1,324

Indianapolis, IN

25.0%

16.1%

25.3%

$              1,206

San Jose, CA

38.6%

36.3%

38.5%

$              3,488

Austin, TX

30.4%

23.0%

29.0%

$              1,690

 

Zillow

Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow's Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. Dr. Gudell and her team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 450 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG), and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.

______________________________
i Ever reported by Zillow, which looked at data going back to 1990.
ii Zillow's analysis looked at the share of working-aged adults living in doubled-up households using individual census survey responses available in the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for 2016. Zillow analyzed the 35 largest U.S. metros.
iii Age 23-65.
iv Among the 35 largest U.S. metros.
v Data from October 2017.
vi The 2017 Zillow Group Report is the 2nd annual largest-ever survey of U.S. home buyers, sellers, owners and renters, and asked more than 13,000 U.S. residents aged 18 to 75 about their homes – how they search for them, pay for them, maintain and improve them, and what frustrations and aspirations color their decisions. The full report is available for free to the public at www.zillow.com/report.
vii The Zillow Rent Index (ZRI) is the median Rent Zestimate® (estimated monthly rental price) for a given geographic area on a given day, and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums, cooperatives and apartments in Zillow's database, regardless of whether they are currently listed for rent. It is expressed in dollars. Data from October 2017.
viii As of September 2017.

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