In January, there were 212,000 members actively using to find a new home.

This is up 6% from January '23, the previous record, while the number of new members to join over the month (67,700) was just 1.4% below last January, the all time high.

In the most in-demand suburbs, there are hundreds of applicants for every room listed on the platform.

Claudia Conley, Community manager for, said while January is traditionally the busiest month on the platform, the huge numbers are likely also due to tough rental conditions nationwide.

"Peak season, we've got all the usual stuff like people starting semester, moving interstate for jobs...but we've also got the rental crisis and cost of living crisis, which is driving more Australians into share accommodation," she told

Australians are making concessions wherever they can to cope with cost of living pressures, and with rent prices one of the biggest contributors to inflation, finding housemates to split the cost is clearly becoming a more popular compromise.

The national median weekly rent cracked $600 for the first time ever in December '23, up 37.5% from $437 in August 2020.

Despite an 18.8% increase in new property listings from last year, demand is still far outstripping supply, and Ms Conley says the discrepancy lays bare the housing shortages facing Australia.

"Given the extreme demand for accommodation, we're gong to need a lot more properties to be able to provide everyone with a place to live...not just on flatmates, that's Australia wide," she said.

She said a continued uptick in shared accommodation could help ease some of this pressure.

"We are really encouraging homeowners with a spare room, two spare rooms or even a spare rent those out to help take the pressure off the rental market," she said.

Where demand is strongest

The suburb with the highest ratio of applicants to room was Tamarama, south of Bondi Beach, with 344 people looking and just one room available.

In Elizabeth Bay, Curl Curl (both NSW) and Highgate (WA), there were well over 100 applicants, but not a single room listed.

Ms Conley says these areas are some of the "sharehouse suburbs" in each state, which are always among the most popular.

"Bondi, Bronte...St Kilda and Fitzroy in Melbourne, you've got New Farm and West End in Brisbane; they're all key sharehouse suburbs that are always in demand," she said.

Suburb People searching Rooms available People per listing
Tamarama (NSW) 344 1 344
Bronte (NSW) 846 4 211.5
East Perth (WA) 388 2 194
Elizabeth Bay (NSW) 188 0 -
Clovelly (NSW) 525 3 175
Fitzroy (VIC) 1,738 10 173.8
Malvern (VIC) 301 2 150.5
Barangaroo (NSW) 138 1 138
Highgate (WA) 132 0 -
Fitzroy North (VIC 374 3 124.67
Curl Curl (NSW) 123 0 -

Image by Wendy Wei via Pexels

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