With people opting for car-pooling and co-working, it is about time co-living becomes a lifestyle choice.
Change is the only constant. And nobody knows this better than today’s digital nomads, who move effortlessly from one job to another, one city to another, one abode to another. Unlike the previous generations, the urban millennials don’t derive their sense of security from sameness – the same job, the same city, the same abode. Studies show that young professionals today value experiences over possessions; they cherish being part of like-minded communities.
This millennial mindset has spurred innovative developments across verticals. Think co-working spaces, or ride sharing on Uber and Ola. In the real estate domain, co-living is the new buzzword. The idea is to get smart about space sharing. Fancy living in a boutique hotel like atmosphere, surrounded by kindred folks, who share a centralized kitchen and laundry room? The idea has been gaining traction with millennials across the globe, especially in the US and Europe. The concept is still nascent in India, though the response is phenomenal.
Here’s looking at five reasons why co-living is the future of residential real estate for the urban millennial:
Most young professionals simply cannot afford to buy a house within the city. So, renting becomes the only option.
With urban millennials making a little over $5400 a year their rental budgets translate to a mere 2-3% yield to property owners. One of the primary reasons for low rental yields is the structural design of a house which hasn’t evolved with time.
Typically, a millennial spends about 45 minutes a day in the living room and kitchen, and about nine hours in the bedroom. Yet, the living room and kitchen space constitute 60 percent of the real estate price, while the bedroom accounts for 40 percent of the cost. Co-living spaces optimise the real estate utilisation. By sharing the lower utilisation areas with a larger community, residents easily save about 10 per cent of the expense and property owners get a higher yield on the property on account of being able to accommodate more people on a floor plate. What’s more, residents living in co-living spaces in most cases pay an all-inclusive price that covers electricity, TV, housekeeping, repairs and maintenance, et al. So, there’s no need to pay anything over and above the monthly sum. And as far as the deposit is concerned, tenants pay a three-month deposit as opposed to the customary 10-month rent deposit. Naturally, millennials love this cost-effective housing solution.
Ease of living
If there ever was an ease of living ranking among real estate offerings, co-living would, undoubtedly, top the list. Especially for urban millennials, who move jobs (and homes) every 20 months or so. The whole process of relocating to a new place becomes easier than opening a bank account, when furnishings, kitchen utilities and maintenance services are taken care of.
It’s like living in a classy hotel – with housekeeping and bill payment services on call – albeit in a more personalized space, in the company of like-minded people. Say, the geyser is acting up one morning. All you need to do is raise a ticket, and voila, it’ll be fixed by the time you get back home in the evening. Co-living spaces work on the plug-and-play model (using the latest technology to increase service efficiency) that saves you the hassle of dealing with everyday household chores, letting you focus on the more important things in life. Now, that’s something millennials truly appreciate!
Sense of community
Millennials are often perceived as lone rangers in pursuit of their own paths. As free as birds, they explore new horizons, evidently in no hurry ‘to settle down’. However, the journey can often get lonely. Studies suggest that more than 40 percent millennials suffer from chronic loneliness.
Co-living spaces offer the perfect antidote. Living in a community of like-minded individuals – bonding over breakfast and barbeque evenings – makes it easier to have meaningful face-to-face conversations in an increasingly virtual world. Not surprisingly, millennials are cherishing the comforts of community living.
Residential safety is more than just having a security guard. It’s about a sense of wellbeing that the space exudes. When you opt for a co-living space, you can be sure about 24-hour security, CCTV surveillance, access card entry, background verification and screening process of the staff as well as residents. This niche realty segment is a lot more organised and transparent than PG accommodations and renting options, making it a safer choice for millennials in a new city.
The concept of community living is not actually new. What’s new is that, unlike in the past, millennials are drawn together by lifestyle choices and not so much by religious affiliations or other considerations. Youngsters prefer residential spaces that are more flexible and social. Home is where the fun is!
Co-living is not a fad; it’s already becoming a sustainable category in the real estate sector. Depending on the amenities and the kind of community you are looking for, there are quite a few options available today.
Startups are experimenting with design, technology and service to build co-living spaces that appeal to the generation that is always on the move.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)