Shared Apartment Living, it’s a Thing
You may think that communal living ends after college… but think again. Co-living is a new trend that’s growing in popularity – so if you haven’t been hearing about it yet, you likely will soon. Co-living, a living setup in which the bedrooms in a building are private but basically everything else is communal, has received a bad rap, destined for only the most adventurous of souls.
And, sure, the idea of living under the same roof with total strangers does seem to mirror an episode of MTV’s The Real World more so than real-life… but is this really a fair assessment?
For those just starting out in their careers in expensive cities, co-living can be a great way to maintain a higher standard of living than they might experience if they were living on their own. This particular housing trend involves renting a private bedroom in a dorm-like building where the vast majority of other spaces, including common areas, living rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms are shared.
Co-Living vs. roommates: what’s the difference?
If you’re thinking, “This is nothing new; it sounds just like having roommates,” you’re definitely not alone – although there definitely are some key differences between having roommates and truly co-living. In co-living instances, utilities and WiFi are typically included, as well as other amenities, such as cleaning services or even catered events or parties. Often, these types of units come furnished and also don’t require long lease terms, and any necessary repairs or maintenance can usually be handled through an app.
Brad Hargreaves, the CEO of co-living organization Common, puts it this way: It’s about keeping the good parts of having roommates and getting rid of as many annoyances as possible. People had roommates but were running into lots of challenges that smart design and technology can solve.”
Of course, we don’t expect co-living to replace the traditional roommate arrangement anytime soon, but it is continuing to gain traction and popularity. Real estate experts predict the number of co-living units being offered in the United States to triple within the next few years to approximately 10,000 units. Currently, there are a number of co-living companies, including Common, Quarters, WeLive, X Social Communities, and more, with approximately 3,000 rentable rooms – mostly in major cities – but the supply is no longer able to keep up with the demand, so we expect to see these companies expand and possibly even new players entering the co-living space.
Co-living: a trend for all generations?
A seemingly natural fit, co-living is geared toward young professionals, particularly those who work in the technology sector – although there are some co-living companies who make a point to say that their target demographic is not nearly so specific.
“WeLive members run the gamut from young people moving to a new city, to parents with small children, to commuters who want to cut down on their daily travel time, to retirees and empty-nesters, and everything in between,” said a statement from WeLive.
Quarters, another co-living company, targets both tech and creative industry professionals in both the Millennial and Gen Z generations, with an average tenant ranging between 23 and 28 years old, depending on the location.
To stay up to speed on what’s hot in commercial real estate, make sure you’re following the CBC Worldwide blog.