A look at the co-living scene in Singapore

This Article was first published on Business Times Singapore // Dec 2018

Billed as flexible, affordable and convenient, going the co-living route enables millennials and expatriates – or, in some cases, millennial expatriates – to rent a room in a shared apartment or an entire apartment in a co-living building.

Co-living pitches community spirit as one of the major perks of the set-up, while pairing together like-minded folks as roommates. Operators typically throw in utilities, housekeeping and Wi-Fi, a community manager to sort out snafus and (in a manner of speaking) friends.

For those new to the city, a key draw to co-living might well be the social events that are organised regularly by the operator, or the opportunity to hang out with like-minded individuals in shared common spaces.

…There’s CP Residences, which was incorporated slightly over a year ago and manages some 30 units at Centrepoint Apartments in Orchard Road, some of which are owned by founder and former banker Wendy Yap. The remaining units are leased from individual strata owners. While fully owned by Ms Yap, CP Residences has also attracted investments from local and foreigner investors. Presently, its occupancy rate sits at about 70 per cent, while rates range from S$1,500 per month for a room to S$4,000 and upwards for an entire apartment.

“We see growing pockets of demand, global travelers who are looking for a flexible lease, instead of being tied to a normal lease,” says Ms Yap, adding that a part of the target demographic is single millennials.

Like other co-living spaces, guests from similar or complementary industries are matched together to create some common ground or or even to create opportunities for business. CP Residences also organizes networking events such as sporting activities, or food tours.

 “We want to be seen as a more premium player, rather than a mass market player,” she says adding that 20 of their units will be undergoing major renovations. “We have a very unique location along Orchard Road.”

Outside of Singapore, CP Residences offers units in Vietnam and Japan, and plans to expand to other countries such as Thailand and Indonesia. Within the next six months, CP Residences is looking to grow to 100 apartments in Singapore, and 500 apartments in the region in the next two years.

Growth in the region will likely be fuelled by strategic alliances with partners, she says. “We want to try to promote this culture.” adds Ms Yap.

This Article was first published on Business Times Singapore // Dec 2018

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