Cost of Living Crisis: New Study Released Shows True Cost of Spare Rooms In The UK
Unemployment is down, inflation remains low, everything looks grand. Except, wage growth is nowhere to be seen, placing pressure on households across the country.
Active Supply & Design has just released a timely analysis conducted in the UK, comparing the cost of renting a self-storage unit with the rental income that could be achieved from letting out a spare room for the first time. The study reviewed publicly available information from sources including spareroom.co.uk and houseshare.com, as well as industry information contained in the Self Storage Association of the UK Annual Survey 2014.
The conclusions will be very welcome news to millions of hard pressed households across the UK, struggling to make ends meet. With the Bank of England announcing only yesterday that, while unemployment continues its welcome fall in the UK, wage growth continues to stagnate, this new information will prove useful to all those with a spare room who are looking for ways to achieve savings.
The study found that the difference between the cost of taking on a self storage room and the rental income which could be achieved from renting out a spare room ranged from typically £61.00 per week in Edinburgh, through £58.50 in Manchester to anywhere from £66.50 to £133.50 per week in London. This finding will be extremely welcome news to many, with annualised savings ranging from £3,000 in Edinburgh to upwards of £7,000 in London. While the study did not factor in the additional costs associated with self-storage, such as the cost of moving your things in to storage, the study also ignored other potential savings which could be achieved for instance by sharing the burden of utility bills at home across more people.
Readers will of course need to ensure that they have the permission of their landlord or lender if they are considering letting out a room, as well as making sure that they have the appropriate level of insurance cover, if applicable. There may also be tax to account for if annual rental receipts exceed £4,250 (see HMRCs rent-a-room guidance) But while dealing with HMRC is never fun, the level of potential savings to be made surely outweighs the pain.
Many of us can no longer afford spare rooms, but plenty of us still do have spare rooms, either because someone moved out and we never got around to doing something about it, or because we have used that spare room to store all the things we simply can’t seem to find space for anywhere else. With the ever decreasing size of new homes constantly in the news, storage space is becoming harder to find and so everything from people’s winter clothes, hiking gear, Christmas decorations and tools through to unwanted but I-could-never-in-a-million-years-throw-this-away gifts is getting piled up, silently taking space and quietly costing money, in spare rooms all over the country.
As the self-storage industry has continued to grow in the UK, most of us now live within a few miles of one of these shiny, gleaming beacons of space, space, space. Many of them, like Attic Self Storage in London, offer 24hr access to individual storage rooms fitted with individual unit alarms; music is piped through the store and LED lighting glows softly from the suspended ceilings. The reception is large, bright, warm and friendly; it’s an inviting space and a far cry from the dark, dingey, damp and scary, echoey warehouses of yore, and most definitely the sort of place you’d feel comfortable visiting at any time of the day or night.
With wage growth in the UK remaining stubbornly low, even as unemployment continues to tick down and increasing numbers of people find work, it’s imperative to keep finding new ways of releasing tied up cash flow. The news that renting out your spare room, and placing the contents in to a self-storage unit really can prove worthwhile will be very welcome indeed to millions across the UK.