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To deal with high housing costs, more married couples are taking in roommates

Nationally, it’s more common for married renters to live with roommates, but as housing affordability worsens, Trulia says it’s becoming more common for owners and renters. (iStock) (istockphoto)
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Plenty of couples move in together to eliminate the need for roommates, but a recent study by Trulia found more married couples than in the past live with a roommate to share housing expenses.

In 2018, more than 280,000 married couples lived with a roommate or boarder, according to the study.

While that represents just 0.46 percent of married U.S. households, the rate has more than doubled since 1995. It’s particularly prevalent in markets with high housing costs, which is why Washington ranks 10th on the list of the top markets with the highest share of married couples with roommates.

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In the District, 1.39 percent of married couples lived with roommates between 2012 and 2016, a 66.4 percent increase from 2005 to 2009, before the Great Recession. The rate of married couples living with roommates is highest in Honolulu and in Orange County, Calif., where the share is between four and five times the national average. Other high-cost markets with larger shares of married homeowners living with roommates include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego.

Nationally, it’s more common for married renters to live with roommates, but as housing affordability worsens, Trulia says it’s becoming more common for owners and renters. The share of married homeowners with roommates was up nearly 40 percent in 2018 compared with historical averages.

For the full report, click here.

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