Hip, affordable and flexible – co-living has always attracted young professionals looking for an alternative place to stay.
The pandemic has fuelled the demand for co-living spaces, as the white-collar tribe scouts for more ideal work-from-home (WFH) settings. Occupancy rates at some co-living operators are hitting above 90 per cent. While this option used to be more popular with expatriates pre-pandemic, Singaporeans now form up to a third of occupants.
It’s no surprise that most of them are millennials, who are weaned on the sharing economy but also desire privacy and independence.
Here’s why we are seeing a co-living boom among young Singaporeans:
1. Greater freedom and flexibility
Co-living is the perfect solution for those who want a place to call their own, and on their own terms, as they save up for their dream home.
Renting often means being locked into long leases, while living with parents entails sacrificing some personal space and freedom. The shorter leasing plans and independent lifestyle that co-living brands offer hit the sweet spot for millennials who live life by the day.
This flexibility is also a big draw for homeowners seeking temporary housing during home renovations and construction delays, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
2. Work in comfort
Even as Singapore gradually relaxes restrictions in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), it shows no signs of deviating from WFH as the norm. But our homes or bedrooms don’t always double up as a conducive working environment.
Co-living operators are well-equipped to deal with this new reality, providing spacious workstations that can be customised and a good Wi-Fi connection. Some even offer sound-proof rooms, so you don’t have to worry about being disturbed or disturbing others during work calls and meetings.
3. Safe socialising during a time of safe distancing
Co-living apartments provide a common space for like-minded people from diverse backgrounds to hang out. Yet you can always retreat into the privacy of your room whenever your social battery runs out.
Many co-living companies also have a community manager who is in charge of organising networking events and activities, be it group dinners, movie nights or even food tours. While most physical events have been cancelled for safety reasons, some companies like CP Residences continue to foster relationships between tenants through lively WhatsApp group chats and thoughtful gifts on festive occasions like Hari Raya and Chinese New Year.