Rent Increase WATCH: The Economy's Effect On Rental Trends

In times of economic recession, it’s a common practice for people to share apartments, rent out spare rooms and live with more family members than they would if times were better. Though the rising numbers of people sharing living space may be an indicator of recession, there are many economic benefits for people who chose to live in shared apartments. Sharing houses and apartments helps people cut down on living expenses, which can help eliminate some of the stress of working fewer hours and earning less pay. People who share houses and apartments may be able to save more money in order to buy their own places in the future, or may be able to focus more time on educational pursuits which can increase their marketable job skills.

The past few years have seen an increase in shared rentals. As the economy begins to improve, single-occupancy apartment units are starting to be in more demand than they were a few years back. Though many people enjoy living with housemates, the number of people who chose to live alone is on the rise once again.

An increase in the demand for single occupancy units may indicate that the economy is beginning to recover, but it also may indicate that it has not bounced back as strongly as many economists have indicated it has. Many of the people who are renting single-occupancy units may be interested in purchasing a house or condo of their own. It is, after all, a buyer’s market, and the low prices on real estate today make it a good time to invest. But the fact that a person may choose to sign a lease rather than a bill of sale does indicate that the income needed to feel comfortable owning a home has not yet been met. The single adult who is renting a place of their own may very well be completely unable to afford to buy even a modest property.

So the trend towards single-occupancy apartment units could suggest that things are getting better but that they’re not great yet. People are earning enough income to get out of sharing with roommates but not enough to buy their own place. It’s still too early to tell if the economy is on the road to recovery, but the increase in single-occupancy rentals indicates that it may be.

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