The shared housing market in urban Australia

Sarkar, S. and Gurran, N., 2017, Shared urbanism: Big data on accommodation sharing in urban Australia, 15th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management, July 11th-14th, Adelaide, Australia,, Arxiv pre-print: https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.10279.
Data compiled by S. Sarkar. Map created by S. Sarkar and D.A.Hussein using Leaflet.

Spatial distributions of approx. 9000 unique listings in Sydney from Flamates.com, Oct-Dec2016

Green colour represents low rent, then, the colour change from yellow to red with the increase of rent. Click and zoom to explore rents and suburb. Most values are for private rooms and room shares in houses and apartments. Some rents could be for whole properties advertised as share properties, i.e. whole properties out for sharing, with the full weekly rent shown for the whole property, e.g., 2 bedroom property in Glebe for $995 per week. All properties with missing rent data or reported $0 rents have been removed.

As affordability pressures and tight rental markets in global cities mount, online shared accommodation sites proliferate. Home sharing arrangements present dilemmas for planning that aims to improve health and safety standards, while supporting positives such as the usage of dormant stock and the relieving of rental pressures on middle/lower income earners. Currently, no formal data exists on this internationally growing trend. Here, we present a first quantitative glance on shared accommodation practices across all major urban centers of Australia enabled via collection and analysis of thousands of online listings. Though these listings are collected from only one of the possible web/online platforms, and represent only a partial snapshot of the complete market, they establish, even more clearly, the importance of tracking such a data series: while sharing may have always existed in various guises and forms, online interactions and peer-to-peer transactions may actually work to make the shared accommodation market a sizeable portion of the rental market. We examine, countrywide, the spatial and short time scale temporal characteristics of this market, along with preliminary analysis on rents, dwelling types and other characteristics. Findings have implications for housing policy makers and planning practitioners seeking to monitor and respond to housing policy and affordability pressures in formal and informal housing markets. Read our CUPUM conference paper Arxiv Pre-print. The visualisation above shows approximately 9000 unique listings compiled from Flatmates.com over 8 weeks, October2016 to Decemeber 2016.