There’s a lot of talk about co-living communities emerging as a widely adopted “third way” of living especially in London cities. It makes a lot of sense when you consider the success so far of co-working enterprises bringing forward thinking, like-minded workers and companies into shared spaces.
Co-living is a natural option for people wanting convenient, flexible accommodation in a great location at a fair price….and with a sense of community.
On one hand the concept of co-living is nothing new as a lifestyle choice for people with similar requirements or ideals whether it be retirement communities, student accommodation, boarding houses or other multiple house mate situations.
On the other, co-living is being championed as a new solution to the conundrum of high rents, stagnant wages, a shortage of affordable housing and the ensuing disconnection caused when people are priced out of the city.
So where are these co-living buildings?
A quick google search of “co-living London” reveals that despite the hype there are really only a couple of co-living groups in operation in London along with various enterprises in early start up stages.
While these co-living pioneers (essentially boutique property developers) talk about community, co-operation, flexibility, shared spaces and brand their offering as co-living the reality is that the spaces they offer are actually tiny, interior designed rooms with minute showers located in Zone 3/4 and priced around £1000 per month.
There is no creative space and community feel as these co-living properties come across as posh student halls meets a boutique hotel or membership club. It’s a great marketing strategy and understandable that developers responsible for these co-living hubs need to see a return on their significant investment.
The financial barrier to entry for start-ups wanting to get off the ground and move towards making the co-living dream a desirable way to live for the mainstream of people ready to live this way is just too high.
The whole point of co-living is that it is a place set up with house mates in mind and managed in a way that makes it an affordable, friendly, inclusive, safe and social alternative to renting.
Co-living is taking the old “house mate” way of living and making it better. It is not just a place to stay whilst studying or the cheapest option available for renting in the city. Co-living means a positive relationship with fellow house mates where you get out of it what you put in.
Right now the only living situation that resonates these values of real co-living in the most vibrant parts of London is PGP’s guardian model, especially our buildings in East London and Mid town.
In the current market we see the benefits of our grown-up approach to property guardianship as proof that affordable co-living can gain traction in London. We would be pleased to talk to interested parties about working together to make this a reality.