Co-living housing may be emerging as an alternative to traditional paying guest (PG) accommodations and hostels among a section of millennials in Indian cities.
Although the co-living housing market is still nascent in India, the trend could quickly catch up in some cities, especially where most working migrant population is headed.
After a pandemic hiatus, the co-living segment is expected to bounce with the reopening of offices and colleges. The market is targeting urban working migrants aged 18-35, whose numbers have grown manifold in cities due to the availability of work.
What Are Co-Living Spaces?
Co-living spaces provide a modern lifestyle with amenities and convenience for young professionals in cities, ideal for bachelors and singles and, of course, those who can afford it and want some sophistication. So, in the coming years, co-living could be the next big trend and might be an alternative to traditional PGs and hostels for a significant population.
"These are fully-furnished homes, where the tenant's privacy is maintained as they enjoy a private bedroom in most cases. However, common areas such as kitchen, living room, etc., are often shared," says Santhosh Kumar, vice chairman of real estate company ANAROCK Group.
Co-Living Spaces Better Than PGs & Apartments?
Most young professionals are digital nomads and demand convenience. Therefore, co-living spaces are gaining traction because they are located at prime locations with good connectivity and in-house amenities like furniture, house help, etc. But, on the other hand, it will cost more if they look for an independent apartment for rent.
"Most occupants find it is challenging to make time for household chores, and co-living spaces come with in-house staff and food facilities. So co-living spaces provide all the facilities at a much cheaper cost than the setup cost of rental apartments or PGs," says Nikhil Sikri, CEO & co-founder of co-living platform Zolo.
Disadvantages Of Co-Living Spaces
One major disadvantage of coliving is the lack of privacy, as the space is often shared with another person. "It has been an issue faced by our consumers in the past. But at Settl, we tried to solve this by minimising the number of beds per room to just two," says Bharath Bhaskar, Co-founder, Settl, a technology-driven managed co-living platform.
Bhaskar adds, "Another issue is using common resources like washing machines or gaming zone amenities due to high demand in specific timeframes; it is an issue faced at most co-living places."
How Are Hostels Different From Co-Living Spaces?
Co-living spaces are a lot more than mere lodging and boarding. They offer convenience and an engaging lifestyle for tenants who find the PGs and hostels restrictive. With the arrival of co-living as an organised rental housing segment, the problems of dealing with intrusive landlords are finally becoming a thing of the past.
"This is a far more sophisticated way of living with opportunities to cohabit and interact with others without overbearing scrutiny and house rules," says Kumar.
Things To Consider
The location is the most critical factor, especially in Bangalore and Gurgaon. The second important factor would be the amenities provided. Do check if there are any extra charges attached to basic amenities. "The community lifestyle comes a close third. Regular networking events and outings are a huge green flag," says Bhaskar.