The private rental sector (PRS), one of the fastest-growing markets in housing, now numbers more than 4.5 million households in the UK, having increased by 63% (1.6 million) since 2007.
At a time of rising house prices and when many of the present generation of young adults desire a more flexible way of life, it is not surprising that increasing numbers of professionals and families are choosing to live in rented accommodation.
Furthermore, the market looks set to continue its upward trajectory as one of the hottest trends in the private rental sector (PRS) in the UK, according to research carried out into co-living by the broadband and utilities provider Glide.
People choose to rent for many reasons but convenience and flexibility are bound to be two of the main factors. The ability of young professionals to relocate quickly and easily in order to climb the career ladder is crucial, and for those who are time-pressured, living in a fully serviced building enables them to concentrate on more important matters.
That said, renters expect a top-quality standard of comfort and amenities, especially as rents continue to increase. Co-living enables developers to provide purpose-built shared living accommodation which create communities quite unlike the high-rise tower blocks of the 1970s.
What are the features of co-living that make it so sought after by millennials? The concept brings together groups of like-minded individuals who have a shared philosophy, for example, of living in a sustainable eco-friendly environment, or of sharing workspaces with businesses having similar aims and objectives.
The Collective is one of the companies which has responded to the increase in demand for co-living, and they have created a development in the centre of Canary Wharf and Old Oak and one on Long Island, USA. The accommodation offers city dwellers the advantage of convenience and the chance to share communal areas with people who have similar values.
It is not at all difficult to see the attraction of living as a member of a community on a flexible lease with all costs included in the rent. Short lease terms are available, making it an ideal solution for those who need to be able to move at short notice, unhindered by the need to sell a house.
All costs included in rent
The developments are designed for the benefit of the tenant and the rent covers all the requirements for making the most of urban living: rent, concierge, superfast broadband, all utilities and taxes, cleaning, attractive daily events and gym membership. And the emphasis on social events and communal areas reinforces the community-led direction of co-living.
As the newest asset class in the residential sector, co-living needs to be state-of-the-art. Residents will depend on superfast broadband not only for entertainment but also for business purposes if they are self-employed and work from home. Additional technological must-haves include Blockchain and 3D printing, according to IKEA’s innovation lab Space 10.
Meri Braziel, Chief Operating Officer at Glide, commented: “Reliable and superfast broadband is essential in any habitat, especially in the new co-living communities where optimal experience is critical.
Glide’s Smart Fibre Infrastructure, which utilises systems specifically designed for the build-to-rent sector, means that Smart Tech can be installed at the outset and buildings will be future-proofed for the following 25 years.