How the Housing Affordability Crisis Has Led to a Surge in Roommates

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The share of households featuring roommates has been on a steady rise the last few years, and the cause could not be more straightforward.

Housing affordability is a common topic of coverage here at Chicago Agent, and for good reason – with wages either stagnant or negative in recent years and prices continuing to rise, fewer and fewer consumers are able to take part in the buying and selling process, and it’s led to some very interest reactions in the marketplace.

Case in point, the rise of “doubled-up households,” Zillow’s term for the percentage of households that accommodate roommates. It makes perfect sense – if the cost of housing in one’s area is rising faster than one’s income, roommates are a logical response to keep the costs of housing manageable, and as our graph below demonstrates, quite a few consumers have latched onto that strategy:

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