Real Estate

More married homeowners are seeking roommates to cut costs

More than 280,000 married American households live with a roommate

As the cost of homeownership continues to price out many homebuyers, more and more Americans are looking for ways to cut costs.

In fact, new data from Trulia reveals that in 2018, nearly 4.2 million U.S. households lived with a roommate or boarder. Of these households, more than 280,000 belonged to married couples.

According to Trulia’s analysis, this rate has more than doubled since 1995, which is the earliest year for which this data was tracked.

“Among all married householders, 0.46% live with roommates, up from an historical average of 0.36%,” Trulia writes. “This increase is mostly driven by married homeowners, 0.34% of whom live with roommates, or nearly 40% higher than the historical average.”

To no surprise, Trulia notes markets exhibiting the highest rates of married couples with roommates tend to be concentrated on the West Coast.

“In housing markets with the highest rates of married couples living with roommates, including Honolulu and Orange County, the share is between four and five times the national rate,” Trulia writes. “And it’s probably no coincidence that the areas with the most married-with-roommate households are also fairly pricey.”

Notably, Trulia found that among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, areas with higher home prices tend to have higher rates of married couples living with roommates.

Furthermore, on average, every $100,000 increase in the median metro home value equates to a 0.25 percentage point increase in the share of married couples with roommates. This is more than half of the 0.46% national rate in 2018, according to Trulia.

“Although home price growth is slowing nationally, the rate of appreciation continues to outstrip wage growth,” the company states. “For first-time married home buyers, especially those looking to buy in those acutely unaffordable West Coast markets, finding a roommate to help defray housing costs may simply be the sensible thing to do.”

NOTE:  Trulia's analysis utilizes microdata from the U.S. Census’ Current Population Survey, as well as its own home price and affordability calculations. 

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