The Private Rented Sector is one of the fast-growing markets in housing, and now accounts for over 4.5 million households in the UK, an increase of 63% (1.6 million) from 2007. In times of rising house prices and a new generation who prefer a more flexible approach to living, it is no surprise that more families and young professionals are preferring to live in rented accommodation. With the market set to continue with its upward trend, broadband and utilities provider Glide has looked into one of the biggest trends in private renting in the UK – Co-living.
There are many reasons why people choose to rent, but convenience is likely to be the biggest factor. For many millennials who are just starting out on their career path and looking to progress in their chosen field, being able to relocate for better opportunities is essential, and for young professionals who are time-poor, the ability to live in a serviced building gives them a peace of mind. However, there is a certain level of quality of living renters expect, particularly with the rising cost of rent, and co-living allows accommodation providers to create Purpose-Built Shared Living developments which create a community a world away from the high rise flats of the 1970s.
So what exactly is Co-Living? Co-Living is a lifestyle beyond bricks-and-mortar, location and convenience but provides communities of like-minded individuals with a shared philosophy, for example creating a sustainable eco-friendly living environment, or shared workspaces for businesses with collective ambitions.
The Collective is just one of the companies which has spotted the increase in demand for Co-Living, and has created a development in the heart of Canary Wharf and Old Oak, as well as across the pond in Long Island, USA. The experience is described as a way of living in cities that focuses on community and convenience. Offering flexible, short-term leases and the opportunity to live as part of a community with all bills covered in the price, it’s easy to see the appeal.
The developments are designed with the tenant in mind, which is why they include everything needed to make the most of urban living in their rates: rent, concierge, superfast internet, all utilities and taxes, room cleaning, exciting daily events and gym membership. A focus on communal areas and social events for tenants cements the ‘community first’ approach of Co-Living, and emphasis is placed on shorter lease terms, making it perfect for the needs of a more nomadic workforce
Co-Living is the newest asset class in the residential sector, so it stands to reason that it needs to be cutting-edge. Residents will depend on technology for entertainment but more importantly, if Co-Living is to be a place of work, residents’ livelihood will rely on the same technology. Since many tenants rely on the internet for work, it is imperative that they have the best technologies available: according to IKEA’s innovation lab Space 10, Blockchain, 3D printing and other digital technologies are essential to making Co-Living work. Which means that super-fast broadband is an essential amenity.
Meri Braziel, Chief Operating Officer at Glide said: “With any accommodation, reliable and ultra-fast broadband is important. For the new Co-Living communities, where experience is key, it really is a necessity. Using an infrastructure that is specifically designed for the Build-to-Rent sector, Glide’s Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ means that Smart Tech can be implemented from the offset and buildings are future-proofed for the next 25 years”.
Jenny has been reporting on small business issues since 2001 where she held a number of freelance positions across the leading SME publications in the UK. Specialist subjects included SME financing and tax.