Co-Living: The Next Trillion Market in India @ 2023

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Co-living is a new culture fast catching up in the Indian society and the real-estate realm. Shared living spaces, with a fine balance of personal space and common facilities are the newest trend shares Real Estate Strategist Bharat Aggarwal.

Co-living – Concept and renting philosophy
Co-living, the new mantra within the ambit of alternative asset classes is aform of housing which combines private living spaces with shared communal facilities. The idea of co-living is to create a community-centred environment that not only provides privacy in living arrangements but also promotes social contact through community events. As an asset class, co- living seeks to build a community centred on ‘real socialising’ in a world where social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are the virtual alternatives for socialising for millennials. The biggest driving force behind the rising popularity of co-living spaces are the young renters moving to new cities for job prospects who are looking to meet and connect with new people.
With India’s millennial population currently touching 440 million, co-living concept is here to stay despite being a novel idea. The growing interest for co-living spaces in cities such as Bengaluru, the National Capital Region (NCR) and Pune has been instrumental in many investors sitting up and taking notice of this emerging sector to diversify their portfolio and risk.

Evolution of co-living
Co-living or ‘communal living’ is not a new concept invented to cater to the millennial population’s housing preferences. In fact, in many countries it dates as far back as the seventeenth century. Medieval villages, religious cults, monks living in monasteries, the hippie movement ofthe 1970s, boarding houses, Post World War II housing are all examples of co- living solutions that catered to a common belief system while also addressing the economic constraints of its inhabitants.
Reconceptualising the old idea of co-housing of the 1960s is what co-living in today’s time is all about. Urban environments attract large scale in- migration putting the limited housing stock under pressure. Coupled with prohibitive rentals and unavailability of micro units in desired locations, co-living in the modern- day world is evolving parallelly with the growing millennial population as they comprise the largest share of workforce globally.

Characteristics of Co-Living
Tech-driven easy living- Co-living operators use modern technology to develop mobile apps which create an online platform, giving the residents access and flexibility and smoothens communication between the tenant and operator. The residents can provide feedback or complaints and ask for services like housekeeping through these apps.

Privacyamidst communality
A spaces draw a thin line between living together but differently. Such service providers supply wider infrastructureof civic participation, community enterprise and the sharing economy.
Many co-living operators organise community-led events such as yoga classes, barbecue nights, laughter mashups, story-telling events and pizza nights for the modern-day city dwellers.

‘No strings attached’ accommodation
Co-living spaces are ideal for anyone on a non-fixed asset model; people who are looking for complete flexibility and homes that are fully furnished, serviced and managed. The monthly rent usually includes a host of facilities and utilities like – TV, housekeeping, Wi-Fi, cable, common kitchen and laundry spaces, maintenance and all the furnishings. With no lease contracts, the residents have the flexibility to stay for as long as they need and as their work demands.

Co-living’s economics for millennials
The rentals charged by these co-living spaces are usually inclusive of all added facilities and yet affordable for the average young professional. The lock-in periods for co-living spaces usually vary from 3 to 6 months and the refundable security deposit for such short-term lease options are only two to three months of rent.

Evolving trends
– More players to enter the industry
– Since co-living as an asset class is evolving globally, many new players have announced plans to venture into co-living to cash in on the trend. In the United States alone, more than 100 co-living companies exist as of now. Since the market is huge in terms of opportunity, rapid growth for co-living providers is no longer a long shot. Leading developer, Property Markets Group, debuted its co-living business under the brand name PMGx in 2017 with plans to expand to 3,500 apartments already.
– Big money, serious play
– Just like nobody knew what an iPod was when there was a CD sitting next to it, the co-living concept too will take time to go mainstream. But until then, the co-living sector is growing energetically. According to a study by TechCrunch, co-living start-ups in New York and San Francisco alone have raised USD 78 million in the last one year. Bungalow, a new co-living operator, threw its gates open for business in September 2018 with USD 64 million funding.

#The Cult Theory 
by Bharat Aggarwal
Real Estate Strategist & Marketer

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