Monday, August 17, 2009

Recession Roommates

by Bill McBride on 8/17/2009 08:51:00 PM

From Carolyn Said at the San Francisco Chronicle: More share space to shave costs in recession

Facing layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs, more people have turned to shared housing to help make ends meet. Craigslist ... says that its roommate-wanted postings over the past 12 months are up 60 percent for the Bay Area, and up 85 percent within San Francisco.

While young singles sharing digs to save money is nothing new, this new brand of "recession roommates" includes more families and couples who are sacrificing their privacy as a way to cope with the economic downturn.
...
The Census Bureau's American Community Survey showed a jump in cohabiting in 2007, the most recent survey year. In California, the number of "family households" with a roommate stood at 228,500 in 2007, up 9.6 percent from 2006. In "nonfamily households," 674,000 reported having roommates in 2007, a 9.4 percent increase from the previous year.
...
During the Great Depression, plenty of people rented out spare rooms to cope with hard times, said Los Altos resident Don McDonald, 91, whose family in Ohio took in boarders regularly. ... "(Boarders) always ate with us and were, in effect, part of the family. The old family photo album shows several of them over those years."
It is common in a recession for households to double up by moving in with a friend or family member. However I'm not sure if taking in boarders is common in a recession ... although from the stories I've heard, it was very common during the Depression.

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