A UK room-rental firm has started a service using DNA analysis to match apartment renters with the most compatible roommates.
SpareRoom analyzes a sample of a person’s saliva to find genetic markers that it says determine personality traits like optimism and confidence, then matches the person with renters whose personalities are most compatible.
While SpareRoom’s DNA service is currently being tested in the UK, the company said it hopes to bring it to the United States before the end of the year.
SpareRoom has been operating a more traditional roommate-finding service in New York City since 2011, based mostly on personality exams. It also conducts weekly “Speed Roommating” meet-up events around town.
Until now, SpareRoom said, getting the right balance of strangers to share an apartment has been trial and error.
It hopes the DNA kits can “bring a little science to bear on the process.”
Once the saliva sample is gathered, it is sent to a lab, where the DNA traits are analyzed and compatibility with 14 personality traits is determined.
The traits include spontaneity, optimism, confidence, risk-taking, self-awareness and stress tolerance. The results of the compatibility test determine if the prospect is capable of a complementary living arrangement.
“A chatty extrovert with high confidence might find she’s suited to living with a more relaxed introvert,” a SpareRoom executive told The Post, “while an indecisive thinker might seek out a risk-taker who will encourage him to shop around for the best deal on energy suppliers.”
The genetic analysis is built on scientific findings that show that up to 60 percent of personality is influenced by DNA.
“You can cheat a theoretical personality test by how you answer the questions, but you can’t cheat your DNA,” said Kyriakos Kokkoris, whose Swiss start-up, Karmagenes, is conducting the matchmaking lab tests during the UK trial.
SpareRoom is not charging for the procedure during its trial period. The price for the DNA test has not yet been established, executives said.