Co-Living Global Scenario | Global Co-Living
Locations that lead the pack as per a study, 25 million Americans 4 live with roommates which has grown by 20% over the past 10 years. Of the American millennial population alone, 88% already have a roommate. In cities such as New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, co-living has already become a part of the lifestyle. Large-scale urban co-living centers are now being constructed to meet the needs of a new generation of professionals and are attracting serious cash flow. Open Door, a co-living start-up has an 800+ waiting list in Bay Area alone. WeLive has re-opened its gates in New York and Washington D.C. having shut down operations less than 15 months ago.
For China, which accounts for 19% of the world’s population, co-living or a modern form of shared housing is nothing new. In China, people have long been living in co-living spaces as housing affordability is a grave concern. You+ which opened in 2012 quickly expanded operations to establish a nationwide network of residences housing more than 10,000 tenants across 25 properties. Whether it is the start-up hub of Beijing or Guangzhou with its large population and proximity to manufacturing hubs of Shenzhen and Dongguan, co-living spaces are widely preferred by the young population over shared rental units.
In Hong Kong’s exorbitantly expensive housing market, which is out of bounds for many, co-living is an apt housing option as living conditions in the city’s subdivided flats are shocking. In the United Kingdom, there is a huge demand for affordable housing in London, the capital city. Due to growing urbanization, in-migration and changing demographics, the city is struggling to meet this demand. As per a recent study by housing association Catalyst, 48% of single people in London cannot afford to pay the rent in traditional housing models and many are willing to sacrifice private spaces for a good location and access to amenities.
The Collective, UK’s biggest co-living scheme, plans to double the size of its portfolio with huge expansion in the US and Germany and are bidding for additional 5,000 apartments coupled with nearly 4,500 in the development stage. The Collective is currently 100% occupied with an annual tenant turnover of around 50%. Long overlooked former industrial hubs in the city are now being re positioned as co-living spaces. Whether it is the growing urbanization or in-migration, one thing is crystal clear from these examples, that is, the rapid emergence of co-living spaces in dense urban centers dominated by either start-up, financial sector or expensive residential hubs struggling to solve the housing shortage. As cost per square-foot of space continues its upward trend in global power centers, the co-living trend will only grow and thrive.
Co-living as a step towards solving student housing crisis in UK
With growing urbanization, immigration and demographics, there exists an acute and pervasive problem of shortage of affordable homes in the United Kingdom (UK) which largely affects millennials, amongst other demographic groups. There has been a decline in home-ownership in the UK over the years because of the rapid rise in rents and poor quality of accommodation.
Co-living spaces are the next natural step and the preferred solution for solving the housing crisis, serving a much wider private rental market for the young professionals and students who are struggling to find suitable accommodation. UK has the second largest number of top educational institutions in the world and many of these institutions struggle to deal with the problem of underinvestment in their existing student accommodation stock, forcing students into the private rented sector. The redevelopment of brownfield sites along with new developments for student housing has also been slowing down, leading to the price increase and supply of stock falling behind.
The Greater London Authority has recently identified co-living as an alternative form of housing to bridge the gap between low supply and high demand for student housing and since 2016 developers have submitted plans for over 1,000 new co-living units, mainly in London. The supply of shared housing in the country is also quite limited as many places do not have a pipeline of a large-scale built-to-suit (BTS) accommodation model. A standout among-est the other major co-living players in the UK is – The Collective, which aims to create a new way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities that would in turn offer a convenient, time-saving and hassle-free lifestyle.