People can live any way they like, of course, but as far as phenomenons go, what you’re calling out is not a trend to communal living based on preferability, but economics.
And if this becomes a national trend due to economics……that means that our standard of living has dropped…..precipitously, to third world standards.
Here’s a similar trend, one that’s been noted occasionally, in the back of certain trade-related publications, more than anywhere else. Go survey a few long term owners of RV parks, people who have owned those parks for 20 years or so, and in locations which are on the outskirts of mid-to-large sized cities, as opposed to tourist-oriented areas.
They’ll tell you that after the 2008 meltdown, the number of slots rented on a long-term basis jumped. They’ll tell you that a large percentage of their renters have been in there for years, not just weeks or months.
Why? Economics again. A modern RV is already everything the above article talks about. It’s a hotel-room-sized accomodation with everything that you need to live neatly arranged for maximum space utilization.
But, with several advantages. The cost of the slot is probably about a third of the cost of the average apartment rent in its area, if not less; that cost generally includes your utilities, cable TV, and internet. The better parks have swimming pools, playgrounds, and exercise rooms; and when you get tired of being in your little box, you step into your living room — — which is the outdoors.
Since you used the Bay Area as your example, let’s see how that would play out:
So, this place is right on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. With your Good Sam discount (everyone has one), that’s $1080 per month, inclusive.
How about Pittsburg, right on the BART line? Easy access to the City and East Bay. That will drop you down to about $700 a month.
If you’re on the Peninsula, good luck. All the parks are fully occupied with long-timers paying about the same as the park in Marin.