Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Students sharing beds to save cash

Liane Santoss is one of increasing numbers of students in inner-city Auckland sharing a bed to save money. Photo / Michael Craig
Liane Santoss is one of increasing numbers of students in inner-city Auckland sharing a bed to save money. Photo / Michael Craig

Sharing a room - even a bed - with a complete stranger is one of the ways young people are coping with the rising cost of central Auckland rooms.

Rooms in Auckland's inner-city have increased by an average of $50 a week in the past six months. The price is now usually upwards of $270 a week. As a result, increasing numbers are choosing to share a room rather than move to the suburbs.

Liane Santoss, 30, came to New Zealand four years ago from Brazil and lives in the city to be close to business school.

To save money, she is now sharing a bed with a new female student from Italy. Both pay $135 a week, all inclusive.

"Sharing is becoming really common in Auckland," she said. "Most of my friends are sharing rooms to save money.

"Sometimes my flatmate is at her boyfriend's house and I am away for three nights a week so there are times neither of us is at home."

Santoss would have never considered sharing in Brazil but said room-share was an easy way to form friendships.

"For people away from their family it is also a nice way to have people around all the time."

Liane said the Rugby World Cup pushed up prices as fans snapped up apartments that students would have occupied.

"It will be interesting to see if people go back to having their own rooms after the World Cup but I don't think so. It is a good way to save money."

But not everyone is comfortable sharing with a stranger.

On one accommodation site, Dunedin students looking for an inner-city apartment in Auckland for the summer found the room-share too much.

"Probably more than half of the ads are looking for someone to share a bedroom," writes one. "Why do people all want to share bedrooms? Weird."

- Herald on Sunday

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