Similar to co-working spaces where individuals work independently or in collaboration in shared areas, there are co-living spaces where different individuals share a home. In addition to renting a flat, paying-guest accommodation or a studio apartment, the concept of co-living is gathering pace in the country. Co-living is essentially shared housing where different individuals share the residential unit with others.
In an email interview with FE Online, Abhishek Tripathi, co-founder, Settl, walks us into the world of co-living, whom it suits, what it offers and how it is shaping up in the Covid environment.
What is the concept of co-living in India and who are the major players?
In India Coliving is driven by students and millennials who are redefining work and life. In urban centres which attract maximum immigrants for higher education and work, people prefer to live in spaces with modern apartments, rather than the traditional leasing model.
The main factors that motivate students and millennials to commit to this co-living model is because it helps in higher savings, mitigating the issues around discovery of a house with decent infrasture, high set up cost like brokerage and high security deposit, unnecessary regulations and fluctuating rents.
Urban loneliness has become a global phenomena so Coliving spaces provide them a platform and opportunity to have human interaction within their vibrant community.
India has seen two generations of coliving operators. First generation largely focussed student housing which has operators like Stanza Living, Your Space etc where as in second generation players have seen new entrants like Settl, Housr who are providing a great stay experience for urban working population.
What is Co-living and how is the industry shaping-up post covid?
Co-living has emerged very strongly post Covid, from the time unlocking has started. Most of the other large operators who focused more on student housing are now starting to see improvement in their occupancy percentage.
Operators who have learnt and adapted to the changing landscape of modern-day consumers who were looking for effective solutions for issues like social distancing, hygienic stay options, work-from-home solutions, Flexi stay tenures, and most importantly a vibrant urban community have been seeing stronger come back.
Whom does co-living suit?
The young Urban Working Population of age between 18 and 35 and even the students are finding the co-living model suitable. Working Professionals choose coliving because they provide superior infrastructure compared to existing options. Co-living offers fully furnished rooms equipped with housekeeping, power bills, internet, etc and even managed by the operators.
What is the average cost per bed and what is all included in this?
Rs 7000 – Rs 8000 per bed per month for student housing and Rs 10000 -15000 per bed for managed living. This is largely dependent on factors like occupancy type, premium location, layout types, amenities etc.
How do they compare with fully furnished studio apartments that employees, and students also prefer?
Coliving spaces are curated for longer stays than a serviced apartment through its modern minimalistic design, amenities and thriving urban community experience that it provides to its members.
How big is the co-living industry in India?
The entire ecosystem is bullish about the prospect of Coliving in India as they are providing solutions through tech innovation and community experience which were not available in the past.
The overall coliving segment will also continue to see strong growth due to the ever-increasing pricing of rental real estate in prime locations. It is further driven by demographic expansion and Tier 3 / Tier 2 to Tier 1 city urban movement. As per research by JLL, India’s co-living market is expected to increase at a strong CAGR of 17% in the next five years to expand to a nearly Rs 1-trillion market.