India is a hub of millennial executives and professionals, living their lives on a rudder, jostling between home and their offices. Pressing timelines, competition and a knack to accomplish the impossible. Digitized and astute, the young ‘New India’ is changing the notions of work-life balance. Rules are arbitrary and often over-bearing for young adults [curfews, no friends or family, vegetarian fare only], making the experience of house hunting for these millennials one long-drawn nightmare. It is here that this new concept of ‘co-living’ emerges as a break-through between work-life proximity, relieving one from the inconvenience of maintenance, dealing with landlords etc., and letting one focus on success and achievements on the career frontier.
Co-living, as the name suggests, is the modern form of housing where residents share living space and interests and values; it’s for people who value openness, collaboration, social networking and the sharing economy. This concept while keeping one’s privacy sacrosanct emphasizes on social exchange, flexibility and affordability.
India is no stranger to this concept. Be it age old ‘Dharamshalas’, or paying guests, the idea of shared rental housing has always existed. Co-living has emerged as a new business model providing a fresh lease to this very same shared rental space. Largely a fragmented market, there is a massive opportunity that co-living spaces offer. India is a USD 50 billion housing market which includes 15 million migrants and 40 million migrant professionals. According to a RedSeer report, the co-living market in India presents an opportunity of USD 12 billion.
This new concept involves a common kitchen, utility space, lounge area and work zone, besides a private bedroom and bathroom. Apart from providing safety, co-living spaces take care of the basics of running a household without the actual hassle. What excites the new generation is the ‘ease of living’ provided by these spaces through its varied range of amenities and facilities. CO-living encourages social contact and community building. There are also curated events held in these spaces such as open mics, cookout sessions, karaoke nights etc. for residents, which encourage social interactions and cultivate a sense of belonging.
India has become the torchbearer in the ‘co-living’ space with several players sharing this burgeoning opportunity. One such player is WTC Noida. We have designed an office-cum-commercial complex, embodying the basic concept of co-working and co-living. This will provide the community with a plethora of goods and services, all at one location, thereby increasing connectivity and reducing any wasteful trips. WTC NOIDA then becomes a major attraction for real estate clients who are investing in co-living and co-working spaces. Ritesh Agrawal’s OYO recently joined this niche with its new business segment called OYO Life. Other companies to have joined this genre, are NestAway, Zolo Stays, Stanza Living, CoLiving, Hello World, YourSpace and many more. These are bringing a professional way to cater to these rental demands. Recently, co-living has offered a higher rental yield of 8-11%, as compared to the current average yield of 1-3% in residential properties7. Apart from the more established hospitality players, some start-ups are also dabbling into this new way of rental living, heavily backed by investors such as Goldman Sachs and Sequoia Capital.
Millennial tenants are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of flexible lease terms, furnished units, housekeeping, fitness centers and co-working spaces, all in one place. This is indeed an amassed market for investors who are seeing the benefits of such an economy.
Co-living is affordable, convenient and comes with a wide array of benefits. An ideal situation for people who are looking for the experience and not possessions in terms of real estate.