Co-living has taken off in a big way in big cities abroad such as New York, Los Angeles and London especially amidst a shortage of housing and high property prices. In Singapore, co-living is gaining traction. Popular with young professionals, millennials and expatriates, co-living is a more affordable option than renting a whole apartment.
Millennials are a key driving force behind the co-living trend. The values of millennials are very different from their Baby Boomer parents or from Gen X. They are more concerned about sustainability and are less obsessed with wealth.
Valuing experiences rather than material possessions, they live their lives on social media. It’s no surprise that they have embraced the sharing economy. In today’s world, we can now share car rides, work spaces and living arrangements.
Co-living is a more affordable option of living alone because you don’t have to rent the entire apartment. After all, a single room comes with a less hefty price tag than the entire apartment.
Best of all, rooms are fully furnished, utility bills and wifi (yay, Netflix!) are covered and housekeeping services are provided. They can still use common areas like the living area and kitchenette to cook.
Co-living allows millennials them to get a taste of “adulting”. They will have to maintain the cleanliness of their own rooms, throw away the rubbish, do their own laundry, iron their clothes, buy their own groceries and take care of their own meals. They get to decorate their room according to their own tastes.
Living alone also forces them to be smart about finances. Take this as kind of like a transition towards independence. And with flexible lease periods, millennials can always move back home if they get tired of “adulting”.
Millennials may have different reasons for moving out of the family home. Besides independent living, some may want to move closer to their workplace (if they have to work physically at their workplace). Others may want the space or privacy to be able to work at home comfortably, especially if they have other family members who also have to work at home at the same time.
Those who have studied or worked abroad and have now returned back to Singapore may also crave the independence that they have been used to while overseas. After all, this harks back to their dorm-living days.
Co-living is also an option for millennial couples who want to take next the step to see whether they are compatible living together. They could also be newly engaged or married and are saving up for their marital home or waiting the construction of their new home to be completed.
While it used to be that children only left the nest when they got married, times are changing and co-living is a new concept of living that millennials are not afraid to embrace.