HOMY’s Co-Living Research Reveals Market Trends in Shared Living
Co-living is catching on in a wide range of markets around the world, as people young and old turn to shared living for a variety of reasons including budgetary pressures and social isolation. The media have often portrayed the co-living movement with persistent stereotype that don’t match the reality.
That’s where the latest from HOMY comes in. As an initiative being led by the research laboratory arm (Re:bond) of Bond Society, a French architecture firm, HOMY’s research helps shed light on co-living trends and how the movement is evolving in today’s rapidly shifting environment.
While they focus specifically on their home market, the Greater Paris Metropolitan area, they also work with more than two dozen partners to help solidify meaningful research on where global co-living trends are heading at the moment. Included in these partners are major market players in diverse markets includingOllie, The Collective, Roam, Outside, Quarters and the French startup Colonies.
A few notable HOMY findings on co-living
HOMY is identifying the trends that underpin today’s co-living marketplace through its groundbreaking research. One notable statistic they found was that the vast majority of co-living projects (75 percent) were outside of urban core or the downtowns of metropolitan areas. Their research points to co-living spaces clustering just outside of city centers (as you can see in the diagram below). While this substantiates co-living as a primarily urban phenomenon, their findings also reveal that there are a growing number of shared living spaces that are well beyond urban areas.
Additionally, HOMY’s research found that all the spaces studied had one notable common denominator, as every single co-living facility they looked at were located within walking distance of public transportation (10 minutes on foot). This is a striking statistic that suggests co-living and public transportation are inextricably linked for reasons that many co-living operators and co-livers probably already understand. For many, it won’t be surprising that operators heavily weigh public transportation when choosing a location or that people who embrace shared living typically eschew car culture or live in places where private automobiles aren’t practical.
Co-living marketplace trends
HOMY’s research also found that most co-living ventures tend to located in repurposed facilities, but that is beginning to change as the movement grows in size and scope. While they point to the reality that the co-living concept is far from being standardized, they conclude that the industry is moving toward spaces that are built from the ground up with co-living in mind.
Recently, there has been a significant jump in the co-living spaces that opened in new buildings specifically designed for that purpose. Their data shows that before 2016, a mere 12 percent of spaces they surveyed were new. Since then, that number has more than doubled (27 percent) as co-living enters the mainstream in many areas around the globe.
HOMY’s research documents a trend that the Lab has been seeing across disparate markets: As companies become more established and ink large funding deals, they tend to build new spaces instead of retrofitting them. This trend is especially prevalent among large-market movers, many of which are among HOMY’s research partners.
Real estate is being disrupted by co-living
HOMY, under the umbrella of Re:bond’s research lab, is giving us indispensable insight into the fast evolution of co-living as it disrupts the traditional real estate market. Today’s consumers are far more nomadic, more likely to be an active participant in the sharing economy, and have a greater propensity to engage in geographically flexible work (digital nomads). They need spaces that better fit their lifestyles and match their economic realities, and that’s why co-living is growing steadily in many corners of the globe.
As Amaury Courbon from Colonies told HOMY, “Coliving is thriving because our paradigms for living and consuming are changing extremely fast, whereas the world of real estate is slow and not very adaptive to new demand in the subletting market.”
In a modern world where change is inevitable, co-living is adapting to consumer trends to fulfill a need.
Co-living: destination unknown
As co-living becomes a more established housing typology, co-living operators and academic researchers alike will look to research such as HOMY’s to get a better understanding of where the industry is headed.
Look for many more changes in the co-living sector as operators innovate and push the boundaries of what shared housing means in a modern context.