Co-Living in Singapore; what's it about?
Where we once treasured privacy and exclusivity, a new breed of travellers who prefer to mix it up with like-minded dwellers, bring rise to the popularity of co-living options around the world.
Co-living, Singapore and pragmatism go hand in hand. The concept of co-living is not entirely new in this small island. With associated real estate outlets and options existing since 2016, it has taken a bit of time for the concept to fully catch on.
Since three years ago, more companies have come ashore to bring their own brand of shared housing into the co-living sector. According to HOMY (a popular global co-living space provider), research conducted in 2016 shows some interesting figures. (research referenced from medium.com)
Pre 2016, new co-living spaces surveyed by HOMY researchers sat at a low 12 per cent. Since this survey was conducted that number has globally multiplied more than twice.
As one of the biggest players in the Singapore sharing economy, the concept pretty much started from the era of backpacking and hostel lodging. A handful of strangers moving to a new city, opting for communal living as they share experiences, space and forge new relationships; people living together.
What is co-living, then? Keeping the essence of community living, co-living generally removes the grit and hippie profile notes from shady hostels and bunk guests up in decent accommodation while providing spaces for these temporal communities to thrive.
The co-driving force behind it
So what’s the reason co-living options are picking up? Just like everything else nowadays, it has to do with the generation that rules it all, millennials.
Community options compliment millennial lifestyles like kaya to bread. Let’s take a quick look at some traits that match.
1. Our millennials would choose modern and fully furnished apartments as opposed to the limited hostel shoebox. Well, that’s no problem because co-living spaces and apartments look swanky and glamorous nowadays. Almost comparable to serviced apartments, these living spaces are curated to fit the millennial taste.
2. Would Singaporean millennials rather do their own chores? Nope. Neither to millennials around the world. Think community serviced apartments. That’s what co-living spaces are becoming. With weekly cleaning , laundry and housekeeping services provided, what more would a post-teen want?
3. Community is a millennials playground. Co-living spaces serve as a catalyst for collaboration, support groups and comfort; allowing expat millennials to jump right into an area of residence and begin to function with the least amount of teething resistance.
4. Millennials hate to be tied down. Once again, similar to the more exclusive option of serviced apartments, co-living spaces offer a short term lease on where you stay. Start-up owners, consultants and freelancers alike, prefer the flexibility and fluidity of jumping in and out whenever they need to; switching between long-term and short-term options is a big plus.
What’s living co-living like?
It’s an (arguably) cheaper and sustainable alternative to more traditional options of accommodation. That’s what it’s all about.
Like-minded individuals shacked up in a shared space filled with living, eating and socializing components that facilitate the culture of community-living.
Neighbours will be able to share common living items, have gathering and meals together, share working spaces, seek social and environmental support from one another and ultimately change how the industry views the quality and value of accommodation out there.
One main factor contributing to the rise in popularity of co-living spaces is the rising prices of traditional apartments and other forms of lodging.
If more single-minded individuals start becoming more open to the idea of co-living, the world is going to start to see a shift in the demand for exclusive accommodation to one that offers cheaper rent with new friends already waiting at your doorstep, especially in Singapore.