Coliving might be the next evolution in coworking. Both rely on collaboration and community, but instead of just sharing a workspace with a community, you share your living space with like-minded individuals as well.
In other words, coliving is a housing initiative where people with shared interests and values share a living space.
It’s an umbrella term that covers a wide range of possible housing formats. However, in general, coliving tends to be based in urban environments in a house, building, or apartment. You usually get your own bedroom but share amenities such as a kitchen, wifi, gym, and so on.
Who uses coliving?
Coliving is a popular option with young professionals and remote workers and on the surface, this makes sense. As real estate and rental prices increase, it can be difficult to get on the housing ladder, particularly if you’re a young professional who works in an expensive city. For digital nomads, coliving offers a flexible housing alternative to traditional leases.
Coliving also provides residents with a built-in network of friends and plenty of opportunities to be part of and contribute to a community. This ethos sits in stark contrast to the isolated nature associated with modern living.
In fact, recent research reveals people are drawn to coliving initiatives because of the socialization opportunities they offer, not just to save money. Most respondents prefer to live in small communities of between four and ten individuals, which is at odds with some of the large-scale developments that are appearing. The research also shows people prefer living with those of different origins and ages.
What are the pros and cons of coliving for landlords?
From a landlord perspective, you could receive a high yield per square foot. Depending on where your coliving rental is based, rates could start at just over $1,500 per month for big city locations. While this may seem a little steep for residents, remember that this price includes the furnishings and amenities.
However, landlords may also experience high turnover thanks to non-standard lease terms and you will need to make sure you focus on building a community in such spaces. What’s more, it can be expensive to retrofit a traditional apartment or space with the shared amenities a coliving space demands.
What does a coliving lease look like?
Typically, there’s no lease agreement or minimum commitment when an individual signs up with a coliving space. Residents usually only pay for the term they want to stay for and rarely need a security deposit.
Residents are also not responsible for setting up and maintaining amenities including water, electricity, wifi and so on. Plus, coliving spaces are fully furnished.
There are plenty of other companies popping up in this space too. For example, The Collective in London was founded in 2012 and offers both coliving quarters in the two locations in the city and another space in Queens, New York.
Coworking operator WeWork also recently launched its WeLive brand, which offers furnished apartments and flexible rentals in Washington D.C. and New York.
The future of coliving
Despite addressing some very modern housing challenges, coliving is still a relatively new concept. With this said, experts predict coliving will grow in the coming years thanks to increased investment and demand.
Experts predict more players will enter the coliving market in the short term but it will take time to move fully to the mainstream. However, there are opportunities to be had for those working in the real estate market – watch this (coliving) space.