By Antoinette Milienos For Daily Mail Australia
01:48 17 Jul 2023, updated 02:29 17 Jul 2023
- Melbourne woman rents parking
- She uses extra money to cover the rent increase
- More and more landlords are renting guest rooms
- Data shows over 30% of income is used for rent
Australians struggling with the skyrocketing cost of living and rising interest rates are finding creative ways to earn extra cash.
Rhea Ribello, a 25-year-old South Yarra resident, was at risk of being forced out of her flat due to a sudden rise in rent.
However, her fortunes changed when she came across "Spacer", an online space-sharing service, earlier this year.
Ribello decided to rent out the garage in her apartment because she and her roommate mostly rely on public transportation and "don't really drive."
"I don't really drive, and I just take public transit or walk everywhere," Ms. Ribello said.
"So my roommate and I took the opportunity, and we were like, okay, maybe we can make some money from this."
Ms. Ribello explained that the one-car garage space is rented for around $195 per month, which covers the $200-per-month rent increase the pair were hit with at the start of the year.
"Renting the pace took a lot of the financial stress off," Ms. Ribello said.
"It sucks because everything is going up, you know, with inflation and stuff and it's quite frustrating, but it definitely helped us."
"It offsets the increased rent and is literally the only reason we can afford to stay where we live."
The marketing and communications manager said it was difficult for people in her age group to manage the cost of living because they already have "so much on their plate" and are not making "millions".
She urged anyone with a free parking space to rent it out and earn passive income to help cover the cost of living.
"It's quite difficult for people, especially in my age bracket, who love where they live and want to continue living there, but everything is going up," Ms Ribello said.
“The price of housing makes it so difficult and you don't want to move because it's so stressful and it takes money.
"People my age, you know, we don't earn like millions. We obviously manage so many things and we have so much work to do anyway.
'So yeah, it's hard. These are tough times, but when you are presented with options to make it work and stay where you want. It's such a great way to earn passive income, even if you don't need the money, just save the extra money for when you need it.
Zofia Hilton started using Spacer in 2017 to rent out the parking space at her apartment in Lavender Bay, a harbor suburb on Sydney's Lower North Shore.
The cryptocurrency trader said she didn't have a car and realized she could "convert space into dollars."
Ms Hilton told Daily Mail Australia she did the same after moving to Melbourne in 2019 and was renting out her parking space for $166 a month.
"I have the mentality that space is an asset, and if left empty it can generate revenue," Ms Hiltons said.
It's extra money. I mentally think that my rent will automatically cost $166 less per month. It doesn't matter how it's calculated, because it all goes into your own pot.
Spacer co-founder and CEO Mike Rosenbaum told Daily Mail Australia that the platform had seen an 80% increase in signups in one year.
Mr Rosenbaum, who is also the founder of other sharing economy companies, said he sees a spike in activity on the site whenever the Reserve Bank of Australia raises interest rates. interest.
"Every time we see an increase in interest rates, we see a spike in activity on our site in terms of people looking to earn some extra income."
Closed garages and storage areas are among the most sought-after spaces on the site, while parking spaces, driveways and carports – especially in suburbs close to capital cities – are also in high demand.
Flatmate.com.au community manager Claudia Conley told Daily Mail Australia that more and more properties are being listed as owners with spare bedrooms look for extra money to cover their mortgage repayments .
In June, the site welcomed the highest number of new real estate listings on the market in more than three years, marking a 55% increase since the same period last year.
Ms Conley said that despite demand often outstripping supply, the site is seeing change as more properties are listed.
"Due to the current rental crisis, there is a disparity between the number of people looking for housing and the members offering it, with demand far outstripping supply across the country," Ms Conley said. .
“Nationally, there is a ratio of 4.3 people looking for every available room. In some suburbs... there are up to 59 people looking for every available room.
“Despite this, we are starting to see a shift in the balance, with more property listings entering the market.
"With rising rates continuing to soar, more landlords are getting spare rooms and are starting to rent them out, to help ease the pressure on mounting mortgage repayments."
It comes after a study into the rising cost of living found Australian landlords and renters were spending more than a third of their income servicing a lease.
Finder's March cost of living report found that 37% of homeowners struggled to repay their home loan, while 13% admitted to missing a repayment in the past six months.
Just under half a million 429,000 households failed to meet their monthly obligations in the second half of 2022.
Rising loan repayment costs have also had a knock-on effect on the rental market, with rents rising by an average of 10% in capital cities, CoreLogic data shows.
CoreLogic's Housing Affordability Report in May found that the share of income needed to service new rents nationwide rose to 30.8% in April 2023, the highest level since June 2014.
While those with low household income expected to pay an unmanageable 51.6% of their income in rent.
Amid the cost of living crisis, support for Anthony Albanese's government has plunged.
Labor's primary vote fell two points to 36%, according to the poll published in The Australian on Monday - its lowest result since taking office with grassroots support at 32.6%.
The coalition also lost ground nationally, falling to 34% after damning findings against it at the royal commission on public debt.
Australians appear to be drawing support from the main parties to vent their frustration with their politicking over the commission's findings and voice in parliament, instead of focusing on the cost of living crisis.