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Coliving – A Saviour to City Centres

How coliving can solve the current housing crisis and save city centres, emerging as places for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy affordable community living.

The answer to an affordable inner-city property is here and looks like it’s here to stay, which is wonderful news for city centres.

With inner-city property prices too high for people to be able to buy or rent, the brightest minds are looking at moving to the suburbs or abroad rather than living in the city centres. But coliving aims to change that migration trend.

Airbnb alternatives

The introduction and mass success of Airbnb has been one reason for the lack of available properties. There are so many short-term Airbnb rentals specifically aimed at tourists, not residents.

But over the past few years, the big coliving companies have acquired large properties and have converted them into the perfect homes for anyone searching for community and cheaper rent. With a choice of shared or private bedrooms, high-speed Internet, communal areas and even planned social activities in a lot of spaces, the appeal is evident.

Over the last few years, coliving spaces have started cropping up in big cities – with their appeal of affordable rent, convenience and an instant community.

Millennials seek cheap renting options

Millennials are looking to move out of their parents’ homes, but they don’t want the responsibility of taking care of a place of their own and all the hassle that goes with it. They want easy, affordable and with as little responsibility as possible. And, most importantly, they don’t want to live alone.

This online world of ours can connect us to millions and isolate us from everyone. What better way to solve that than to move into a coliving space. So city officials are beginning to see the advantages of allowing more and more companies to set up these spaces. The laws are being tested and adopted by companies such as Common, Starcity and Ollie, as they are focusing on properties near city centres.

Affordable luxury amenities

With the arrival of more and more coliving spaces, the infrastructure of the cities they are located in is also benefitting. Millennials need amenities – they crave gyms, cafes, bars and restaurants. They are looking for cinemas and parks too. This influx has brought about a need to increase facilities and amenities that were struggling until recently. Welcome news for local business owners in these locations.

No more long commute from home

Interns in areas such as Silicon Valley don’t want a long commute to reach their jobs at Apple, Facebook, Google, etc – they want a short bus or bike ride to their desks. And they want the social life that coliving spaces provide.

There has also been a recent surge in large London properties being acquired by companies that both own and manage them. Chicago and New York are also seeing an increase in the number of purpose-built properties opening their doors as coliving spaces.

Coliving is a new investment opportunity

Government and city officials are opening their eyes to the advantages of welcoming more and more coliving spaces that attract an increased number of investors in coliving. The benefits are becoming more evident, with the city retaining their brightest minds and attracting even more to the area. People no longer want to come back to an empty property at night. They want to be around like-minded people and they refuse to be compared to university frat houses. These professionals want quality conversation and companionship when they get home from a long day. They aren’t interested in partying and beer pong. These people work hard and want to come home to a ready-made community environment.

At the moment, there are zoning laws that restrict a lot of coliving spaces. Local neighborhoods have been against both Airbnb and coliving spaces in the past – not wanting the constant stream of new faces and the threat of late-night partying from any of the social events. Indeed, some local residents aim to halt the emergence of coliving spaces, using red tape and protests to planning permission.
They are against residential properties being used as a commercial business and because of this, some coliving spaces have been forced to operate under the radar. Only the larger companies have managed to overcome these problems, by building from scratch in areas that welcome properties of this nature – e.g. hotels and large apartment blocks. So adding a coliving space into the mix doesn’t ruffle any feathers.

But the smaller coliving spaces are eager for the zoning laws to be changed to accommodate them. Their ideals and aims are simple – to create a work and social environment that appeals to millennials and brings income to the area. The hope is that the permits and property laws surrounding coliving spaces will become easier for all involved.

Coliving became a global movement

Across the globe, governments are changing their views on coliving. Recently, the Chinese government allowed a 462-room property to open up, complete with an entire floor dedicated to communal activities. They are even charging above-average rental as the young Chinese professionals crave this living environment, especially as it’s located in a trendy and vibrant area.

In conclusion, coliving is neither a phase nor a nuisance. It truly is the solution to the current housing crisis. As more and more local city officials and resident associations recognise the appeal of coliving, the hope is that integrated community living is allowed to flourish and thrive in cities throughout the world.

Where will you go next?

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