Viral Chhajer

A former Goldman Sachs Business Analyst, Viral is cofounder and CEO of StayAbode, a startup building co-living spaces. Prior to this, Viral headed marketing at food ordering and delivery platform, Runnr and also cofounded, Bribe Me, a flash sale marketplace for brick and mortar stores.

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How Co-Living Spaces Reshape Real Estate Industry of India

Chronic loneliness, now a modern-day epidemic amongst urban millennials, is one of the reasons why we’ll now see higher adoption of such models of living in India.

Photo Credit : Wikimedia,

India’s millennials, about 30% of our population, are typically changing jobs every 18-24 months and are increasingly valuing experiences over assets. This makes the concept of ownership no longer relevant for the urban Indian millennial. Especially when they think of homes.

Millennials want flexible, social and affordable homes. They want to rent. Having said that, residential real estate will now need to transform to give these millennials just that.

Structural design of residential real estate hasn’t evolved in the longest time. When we think of a house, we think of a Bedroom, Hall and a Kitchen. 

Here's a simple understanding of the relative utilization of spaces in a typical 1BHK housing 2 people: The Dining and Living Room is typically around 180 square feet and the average time spent there is 2 hours – that’s relative utilization rate of 19.39%. A Bedroom is around 150 sq. ft. and we spend an average of 9 hours a day there, a utilization rate of 72.70%. A kitchen maybe around 70 sq. ft. and spending 1.5 hours a day there means it has a utilization rate of 5.65%.

When we look at the above real estate utilization and their relative utilization in these typical structures, you’ll see how basic design changes and sharing areas with lower utilization amongst a larger community could drastically drive down costs making quality accommodation more affordable and accessible.

Co-living spaces seek to do just that.

The underlying philosophy of co-living spaces, for realtors, is to maximize space utilization which in the current scenario could save a person as much as 30% in rentals in Tier 1 cities while giving the realtor as much as a 12% rental yield on his property, and for residents, to drive more human interactions making homes and the people that live in it more social and acceptable.

Co-living spaces seek to drive up relative utilization of spaces by combining private (Bedrooms and Bathrooms) and communal areas (Utility Rooms, Living Rooms, Dining Areas and Kitchens) for a larger group of people that then become part of one large community.

Chronic loneliness, which is now a modern-day epidemic amongst the urban millennial, is one of the reasons why we’ll now see higher adoption of such models of living in India. A WHO study points out that the total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015 and with the rate at which our cities are growing this number is on an alarming rise.

Living in a community of like-minded individuals which is the ethos of co-living spaces is easily the safest bet to fight this modern day epidemic amongst the urban millennial.

Co-living spaces use design in a way that allows for people to interact, make friends and feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves, i.e. a community.

Much like how increasing adoption of the sharing economy is helping drive down costs in the transportation industry, the same philosophy of sharing spaces and living in co-living spaces will play a huge role in driving down costs in the rental residential industry, thus allowing for more people to move into higher quality accommodation which will transform the residential real estate industry in India.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

Tags assigned to this article:
StayAbode Co-living millenial job trends renting

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