Top 3 alternative housing options

All talk of the housing crisis is a bit depressing and bleak. Yes, rents are rising and who knows if we’ll ever be able to buy a house… But here at Roost we’re all about positivity, so let’s fight back the tears and find new ways of living!

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Is home ownership an impossible dream?

Housing charity Shelter has warned the housing crisis will halve the number of young homeowners by 2020.

The report released on Friday states home ownership among 25-34-year-olds has fallen from 1.8 million to 1.2 million, and could drop to 616,000 within the next five years.

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A look into warehouse living in London

Over the last few years we’ve seen a move towards finding alternative living arrangements instead of basic flat shares. Artists and creative types have taken over disused spaces all over the capital to turn into live/work units, and now renting a room in a converted warehouse is a popular way to live in London, especially in places like Hackney Wick and Tottenham.

Hackney Wick, London

Hackney Wick, London

Roost was invited into the Peanut Factory Studios in Hackney Wick, east London, to meet 24-year-old musician Joe who opted for communal living over more conventional private rentals. He tells us why:

Would you consider moving to a warehouse? Tell us your story #roostrcommunity

The world’s 20 most expensive cities to rent a property

Is it any surprise that London has come out top in the world’s most expensive cities to rent a property? According to figures from the Global Property Guide, to rent a home in inner London you’ll be paying around £7,136 ($11,089) per month. The numbers are based on a 120sq.m property, usually an apartment. Monaco is the most expensive place to live in the world, with a buying price per sq. m costing as much as $60,114.

The website for residential property investors says a 250 sq.m apartment in a prime location in the capital could cost around £6,200,000. While the figures are based on luxurious areas of London like Kensington and Chelsea, it nevertheless highlights just how impossible it is for many people to live in central London.

Global Property Guide suggests that foreign property investors in Britain are being blamed for the extortionate house prices in London.

But its not just Londoners who are suffering. According to Homelet, regional rental prices are now growing faster than the capital.

The most expensive cities to rent property

Click here to see the full infographic from

So perhaps we should all move to The Bahamas. Unlike London, it has great beaches AND it’s only 19th on the list.

New York was the second most expensive city to rent property, with an average rent per month of $7,225, followed by Hong Kong with rents of $6,431.
The 20 most expensive cities to rent property in the world

Visualising the housing crisis in London

All the stats and data surrounding the housing crisis can be a little overwhelming, so a London renter has brought attention to the issue by making box graphs around the streets of the capital. His charts visualize the UK housing crisis in a very real, and unavoidable way. The graphs by Arman Naji show the steep rise in homelessness, house prices and average rents using stats he’s collected.

Images of the graphs can be found on the Street Graphs Tumblr page, or you can find them around London:

Redefining affordable housing

Guest blog written by , Communications & Marketing Manager at Generation Rent.

Affordable” is a word that has caused much confusion and anger in housing circles since the old government reformed the grant system for social housing.

To be deemed affordable and thus qualify for state subsidy, new homes must be offered to tenants at a maximum of 80% of local market rents. To call this affordable betrays a staggering lack of awareness. In the real world, 80% is not much cheaper than the expensive rents set by the free market; it is not affordable to people on average incomes in expensive areas, let alone those on low incomes whom subsidised housing is supposed to prioritise.

So when government MPs pat themselves on the back about rates of affordable housebuilding, they’re not actually talking about homes that are going to help Britain’s neediest.

The possibility of affordable being defined by house prices – subject to the same inflationary effects as rents if not more so – is as bonkers as the government’s policy. It is hard to believe that any politician can credibly define affordability in relation to anything other than wages.

The response from the housing minister, Brandon Lewis, would be amusing if it weren’t so enraging. He said redefinition of affordability could “undermine” the delivery of affordable housing. This is like saying that reclassifying horses as unicorns would be damaging to unicorns.

Ultimately language only goes so far, and any government that wants more homes to be affordable to people on low incomes must use public cash to build them. If we’re to believe the buy-to-let industry, there’s no better investment than property.

social housing

Photo: G Y Gabor

10 of the best ways to save space in your home

We’ve all been there – you’re moving into a new rental property and there’s a van full of stuff that still needs to be unpacked but you’re swiftly running out of storage space. To help you out, here are 10 creative ways to manage your mess.

1 – Shelves

Photograph:  rabiem22

When in doubt, think shelving. Providing your landlord lets you, the best way to maximize space in your home is to put shelves everywhere, for anything. The best thing is you don’t need to be a DIY expert to put a shelf on the wall (there are easy tutorials on YouTube). Try making a shelf-turned-bedside table or a even shelf under a window sill.

2 – Under the bed draws

Photograph: atravellingmom

Photo credit: atravellingmom

This is a simple method of finding extra storage space. You can make the draws yourself or just buy a couple of cheap boxes from IKEA to stuff everything away.

3 – Bottle it up

Photograph: Matt MacGillivray Put shampoo and shower gels into unified bottles to save space in the bathroom

Photo credit: Matt MacGillivray

If your bathroom is overflowing with different shampoos and shower gels just put them into unified plastic bottles. These can be bought for a reasonable price on eBay. It’ll look neater and they can fit easily onto hanging wire baskets.

4 – Kitchen racks

photograph: Kitchen utensils hanging up

Popping your pots and pans on a rod will make more space on counter-tops and cupboards.

5 – Let there be light

Photograph: Gordon Wrigley. Lamps

Photo credit: Gordon Wrigley

Adding light instantly makes a room feel more spacious.

6 – Secret storage

Photograph: Brenda Clarke. Wooden Chest

If you’re struggling for space in a living room, replace your coffee table with a chest or ottoman with storage and hide your mess away.

 7 – Neutral colours


Photo credit:

It’s best to use plain upholstery for sofas and chairs to give the illusion of space rather than vibrant prints.

8 – Hooks

Mugs on hooks

Photo credit: Paul Englefield

If you’re a big tea lover and can’t find anywhere to store your mugs and cups, just install some hooks to hang them up.

9 – Hanging around

Clothes rail.

Photo credit: Simplified Building

Hanging anything and everything is important when trying to save space in a room. Either pick up a cheap clothes rail from shops like IKEA, Argos, Homebase or Tesco or install some coat racks yourself.

10 – Rugs


Photo credit: Lova

If you’ve got a large room, it’s worth using rugs to define space. Separating areas with rugs will make it seem like you’ve got different rooms in one big space.