India’s residential real estate sector is currently face to face with many a challenge, with the biggest being the recent turn of events due to pandemic. As a result the task of revival seems to have become even more daunting. It would also prompt developers to think of newer areas and opportunities.
The strong emergence of co-living segment gives one reason to believe the sector might be taking a different route to see better days even as the segment itself is facing the heat of the pandemic.
But that may be a temporary phenomenon. According to a recent report, the co-living segment in India is set to become a Rs. 2-trillion market by 2023 in top 9 cities as the demand for such spaces continues to grow among the country’s student and working population. Considering the robust growth prospect in the co-living segment, several companies, both well-known realty brands and start-ups, have forayed into this segment.
Now, why has co-living caught the attention of the people and what lies ahead for the segment?
India is considered to be a young country with 65 per cent of its population below the age of 35 years. According to private estimates, the number of millennials in the workforce is expected to hit 75 per cent of the total workforce by 2025. As per the data, nearly 40 per cent of India’s millennial workforce comprises of migrants, who are looking for affordable-yet-modern living spaces. Similarly, of the 37.4 million students pursuing higher education courses in 2018-19, approximately 15 million were migrants.
As co-living comes with a multitude of advantages, millennials are inclined towards it. However, they need to keep the following aspects in mind before choosing a co-living:
Locality: Whether you are buying a house/apartment and planning to take it on rent, the location of the property plays a crucial role. Before finalising a co-living option, it is advisable to check the connectivity in the area from places which you visit often. The place should have decent connectivity, reasonable public transport and hospitals in close vicinity.
Affordability: Co-living spaces are relatively more affordable as compared to an apartment in the same locality. In some cases, the difference of cost between renting an apartment and co-living can be 60-70 per cent. It is, therefore, recommended that you negotiate the cost well.
Also, there are plenty of co-living spaces now available in every locality. So, one should explore more option and opt for the one that is the perfect mix of cost optimization and choice of amenities. Also, cost of some of the services offered by co-living providers is included in the rental itself while other services are chargeable. You should factor in both to calculate the effective cost.
Credibility of the co-living space provider: While, the co-living segment is increasingly being look at by established players as the next engine of growth, the segment is still dominated by unorganised or relatively smaller players. So, it is paramount to check the credibility of co-living providers and opt for those who enjoy goodwill and reputation. With most of the millennials active on social media and other digital platforms, one should check for feedback on these platforms.
Amenities: Many co-living space providers promise to provide top-notch facilities and amenities. Before finalising, it is better to check and ascertain those on your own. One can check the reality with those who are already staying there.
Some of the co-living providers are also offering free trials for a week or so. Given time, one should make optimum use of such a facility.
The author is Group COO, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com