Renters can save $515 a month by sharing their home or apartment with at least one roommate instead of renting a one-bedroom unit on their own, according to the inaugural HotPads Rooms for Rent Index.
Nationally, the median rent for a one-bedroom home or apartment is $1,320 per month.
Meanwhile, the median asking rent for a single bedroom in a shared home or apartment is $805 per month – so renters who are willing to share common areas with at least one roommate can save $515 a month on rent.
Renters in the country's most expensive rental markets can save the most by renting a single room instead of an entire unit. San Francisco and Los Angeles renters can typically spend more than $2,100 per month on a typical one-bedroom apartment and more than $1,100 per month on a room for rent – about a $1,000 difference.
Meanwhile, renters in New York City can expect to save about $940 each month by having a roommate.
As rent prices rise and housing affordability continue to be a top concern, many renters pair up with roommates to cut down on housing costs.
About 30 percent of U.S. renters lived with a roommate in 2017, up from about 28 percent of renters in 2012 and 24 percent of renters in 2007ii.
One-bedroom rent prices vary widely across the country – in the top 25 metro areas, the median one-bedroom rent ranges from $895 to $2,515 per month.
In comparison, the typical cost of a room for rent is fairly steady – the median asking price for a room for rent in the top 25 metro areas ranges from $670 to $1,430 per month.
Because one-bedroom rent prices are more variable, getting a roommate in the most expensive rental markets becomes more economical as rent prices rise.
However, renters in some Southern and Midwestern markets where one-bedroom apartments are relatively affordable save less when they split the rent.
Renters in Houston save $160 per month by sharing their home or apartment with a roommate instead of renting an entire one-bedroom unit, while renters in St. Louis save $205 per month.
HotPads is a Zillow Group-owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. Find out more at hotpads.com.