With one in eight Britons regularly working over 50 hours per week, pooled services provide an attractive solution for time-poor professionals. Unlike most apartment blocks, which recover communal costs via a service charge, facilities such as room cleaning, gym membership and concierge services are instantly accessible and conveniently consolidated into a monthly rental bill.
In a recent survey, 60% of Britons admitted to not knowing their neighbours ‘well’ or ‘at all’. Co-living counteracts this trend, with developments offering shared spaces specifically designed to bring people together. Communities typically include spaces to relax and work, restaurants, bars, gardens and roof terraces. In addition, many co-living developments organise events such as lectures, barbeques and networking.
For those desiring greater face-to-face interaction in the age of social media, the benefits of communal living are profound. Research indicates that a lack of social connections has a crippling effect on the average lifespan, increasing the likelihood of early mortality by 26% (equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day) whilst being more harmful than well-known risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity.
On a practical note, tenants should expect a greater level of professionalism than that offered by typical buy-to-let landlords. Maintenance and other services should be more readily accessible and responsive.
It seems, therefore, that the benefits to co-living could be remarkable. However, it remains to be seen whether the longstanding ambition of many Brits towards home ownership will limit the impact that co-living schemes could have within the wider property market.