Households use sharehouse options to fight surging living costs

An increasing number of WA households are considering house sharing or seeking more housemates to alleviate the rising living costs and fight inflation. The average WA household has depleted their savings by 20% and plans to hold back spending by 13%, according to the latest Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) Consumer Confidence Survey.

Amid the tightest rental and housing conditions in more than a decade, our survey shows one in four (26%) Western Australians are looking at living with more people to help them manage costs. The report shows a striking one third of WA homeowners with a mortgage (32%) reported seeking or considering more housemates, a similar proportion as renters (31%). One in ten respondents (9%) said they had already responded to higher costs by adding more housemates.

Read the Consumer Confidence Report

Furthermore, the report shows that seven in 10 Western Australians (72%) see interest rates as reducing their confidence which puts WA overall confidence at around a six-year low, excluding the worst quarter of the COVID pandemic.

Two in three WA households (65%) are planning to reduce their spending due to the surging living costs pressure. Western Australians nominated consumer goods like electronics and clothing (65%), cafes and restaurants (64%), homewares and renovations (58%) and groceries (57%) as areas for reduced expenditure.

More than half (52%) of the respondents to CCIWA’s survey said they have dipped into their savings and offset accounts in the past six months. The report shows that WA households have depleted their reserves by an average of 20%, and by nearly a third among young people (32%).

“Incentivising people to downsize and use their housing stock more efficiently might be a solution which is environmentally sustainable and benefits the economy. This can be achieved through reform to stamp duty arrangements,” said CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey.

Stamp duty is a critical barrier to the efficient use of WA’s housing stock. It impedes first home buyers as well as asset regeneration and workers from shifting closer to preferred schools, workplaces or the regions. It is twice as punishing to young and lower-income people, who are likely to move more often in life, consuming a higher proportion of their income. CCIWA is actively encouraging State Government to abolish the stamp duty and to continue their efforts to encourage urban redevelopment in WA.

CCIWA’s Economic reports, including Business Confidence, are available exclusively to CCIWA Advantage and Corporate Members. For more see CCIWA’s Economic Insight page.


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