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Save on rent by getting a roommate, says new study

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Duh, but it pays off the most in Miami, San Francisco, and New York City

Miami skyline
Miami comes out on top in terms of the percentage of median household income saved by splitting a two-bedroom apartment.
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It’s common knowledge that sharing an apartment with another person can help you save on rent. But just how much can you save? That’s the question explored in a new report from Trulia, which analyzed the site’s rental listings data from 2016.

The study, which complements the launch of a revamped Room for Rent feature on the site, found that on average, renters in the 25 biggest U.S. markets can save 13 percent of their income by getting a roommate. This is no chump change, considering that it’s no longer rare these days to be spending upwards of the “healthy” one-third or ideally one-fourth of income on rent. In fact, the typical renter would need to spend nearly 50 percent of his or her income to afford a one-bedroom in Miami, 37.3 percent in San Francisco, and 34.3 percent in New York City, per the report.

Trulia

Diving in to the savings: Miami comes out on top in terms of the percentage of median household income saved by splitting a two-bedroom apartment, which is 17.7 percent or $640 per month. The highest real dollars saved is in San Francisco, where it’s 12.8 percent or $1,030 saved per month. For New York City, it’s 13.9 percent or $730 saved per month, and for L.A., it’s 11.9 percent or $580 saved for month.

Savings carry over to more affordable cities as well. For example, the average Baltimore renter can save 6.6 percent or $400 per month by sharing a two-bedroom, and in Minneapolis, which had the lowest percentage savings of the metros studied, splitting a two-bedroom still yields 5.3 percent or $310 savings per month. In most of the metros, the savings are bigger for millennial renters.

Trulia

According to the report, in nearly all of the metros studied, sharing an apartment between two people allows them to spend less than one-third of their income on rent (assuming they’re making the median household income in that city.) The one exception? Miam. (Yikes!)

The report also studied what happens when people split three bedrooms. And, to no surprise, that does bring monthly savings up a bit more. But that could also mean even less personal space and more housemate wrangling, which is a burden of a different kind. Explore the full findings this way.