You'd be hard pressed to go a week without seeing media headlines pitying today's 'Generation Rent' and their struggle to get onto the property ladder.

Soaring house prices, being artificially pushed up by 'greedy' landlords, is often the theme. And even though many 20-somethings still aspire to own their own home, there has been a paradigm shift from wanting and needing to own your own things to renting - and not just when it comes to property.

The world has well and truly become a sharing economy.

The baby boomer generation will be one of the last who remembers buying their own music, movies and media. If we wanted a hedge trimmer, we'd have to buy one (and probably only use it once) and if we needed to get anywhere, we'd hop on a bus or an expensive train.

Today however, almost anything can be shared or rented.

Aside from being able to share a car journey through the Lyft app or BlaBlaCar, more and more people are choosing to rent a car over buying one. It's not surprising given that a car is probably the second biggest purchase after property.

Gone are the days when you buy a car and run it into the ground before you consider buying a new one. Now, more people than ever are renting or leasing vehicles. Just like renting a property, it can be a hassle-free solution. Your monthly payment often covers any servicing and faults and if you're unhappy with it, you can get a new one much more quickly than if you owned the car.

Another example, albeit more obvious, is music and movies. Thanks to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, the British Phonographic Industry reported that music streaming is up 80% while music sales fell 10.4% in 2014. And in the movie world, an estimated 50 million people across the globe subscribe to Netflix and legal movie streaming in the UK has gone up 10% according to the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

However, there has also been a surge in the number of 'sharing economy' companies. You can now rent someone's driveway through Parkatmyhouse, share people's homes using AirBnB, swap unwanted clothes via Vinted.com and share household items with your neighbours through Streetbank.

It's often referred to as collaborative consumption or access over ownership - where owners rent out their assets to someone who wants them. So, what are the benefits of a sharing economy? Flexibility, coupled with the freedom of not having to do a car boot sale every month to get rid of the junk you never needed in your spare room.

The fact is, times are changing and the world is adapting to different needs. The housing market is no different, and as long as there is a mobile workforce who needs to move at the drop of a hat for the next big opportunity, professional house shares will be needed.

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