Co-living is a modern form of shared housing that offers flexible, affordable, and community-oriented living spaces for young professionals, students, entrepreneurs, and travellers. Co-living spaces typically provide furnished private or shared rooms, common areas, amenities, and services, as well as social and professional events for the residents. Co-living is not only a way to save money and space, but also a way to connect with like-minded people and foster a sense of belonging.
The co-living market in India is one of the fastest-growing segments in the real estate sector, driven by the increasing demand for urban housing, the rising population of millennials and Gen Z, the changing lifestyles and preferences of the young workforce, and the emergence of the gig economy and digital nomadism. According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield India, the co-living market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 per cent from 2020 to 2025, reaching a value of USD40 Billion by 2025.
The Current Landscape of India’s Co-living Market
The co-living market in India is a relatively new phenomenon, but it has witnessed a remarkable growth in the past few years. According to a report by JLL India, the ‘co-living’ market in the country is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17 per cent in the next five years to touch nearly INR USD40 Billion. India, therefore, provides a blooming opportunity for developers, investors and even start-ups in the ‘co-living’ spaces.
The co-living market in India is dominated by a few key players, such as OYO Life, Zolo, Nestaway, Colive, and StayAbode, among others. The co-living spaces are mostly concentrated in cities such as Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
Factors Driving Co-living Market in India
The co-living market in India is driven by several factors, such as:
●The increasing demand for urban housing, due to the rapid urbanisation, migration, and population growth in India.
●The rising population of millennials and Gen Z, who are the main target group for co-living spaces.
●The changing lifestyles and preferences of the young workforce, who are looking for more than just a place to live.
●The emergence of the gig economy and digital nomadism, which enable people to work remotely and travel frequently.
Sustainable Practices in Co-living
Some of the sustainable practices in co-living are:
●Energy efficiency and renewable energy integration: Co-living spaces can reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint, by implementing energy-efficient measures, such as LED lighting, smart metres, sensors, and thermostats, and by integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and biogas plants.
●Community engagement and social responsibility: Co-living spaces can enhance their community engagement and social responsibility, by involving the residents, the staff, and the local stakeholders, in the design, management, and governance of the co-living spaces, and by creating a sense of ownership and accountability.
●Green building standards and certifications: Co-living spaces can improve their green building standards and certifications, by following the best practices and guidelines for sustainable construction and operation, such as the LEED, IGBC, GRIHA, and BEE standards, and by obtaining the relevant certifications and ratings, such as the EDGE, ECBC, and BEE Star labels.
Co-living and Its Impact on Travel and Tourism
Some of the ways that co-living spaces impact travel and tourism are:
●Appeal to digital nomads and remote workers: Co-living spaces are ideal for digital nomads and remote workers, who can work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a reliable internet connection and a comfortable place to stay.
●Collaborations with tourism boards for unique experiences: Co-living spaces can collaborate with tourism boards and other stakeholders, such as local businesses, NGOs, and influencers, to create unique and authentic experiences for the travellers and the locals, that showcase the culture, heritage, and diversity of the destination.
●Sustainable travel trends in co-living spaces: Co-living spaces can also influence and inspire the travellers and the locals to adopt sustainable travel practices and behaviours, such as reducing their environmental impact, respecting the local culture and people, and contributing to the social and economic development of the destination.
The co-living market in India is poised for tremendous growth in the coming years, as more and more people opt for co-living spaces as a preferred choice of living and travelling. The co-living market in India is also expected to witness several innovations and trends that will shape the future of the industry and the society. Some of the projections for the growth of sustainable co-living in India are:
●The expansion of the co-living market to new segments and geographies, such as senior citizens, families, couples, and tier-2 and tier-3 cities, where there is a latent demand and potential for co-living spaces.
●The integration of technology and data, to enhance the efficiency, quality, and personalisation of the co-living spaces, and to create a seamless and smart living experience for the residents.
●The emergence of new business models and partnerships, to create a more competitive and collaborative co-living ecosystem, and to generate more value and impact for the stakeholders.
Co-living is a disruptive and transformative phenomenon that has the potential to revolutionise the way people live and travel, and to create a more sustainable and inclusive society. However, co-living also faces several challenges and risks, that need to be addressed and mitigated, to ensure that the growth is not at the expense of the planet and the people. Therefore, it is imperative for the stakeholders in co-living and tourism, such as the co-living operators, the residents, the staff, the authorities, the industry, and the public, to embrace sustainability, and to work together to create a co-living ecosystem that is not only profitable and attractive, but also responsible and beneficial.
The author is the Founder & CEO of Colive, leading rental exchange platform.
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