According to Coworking Resources, co-living is defined as the trend of living with other people in a single space that encourages residents to interact and work together.
As a sub-market of the build-to-rent sector, co-living acts as an appealing, affordable option for tenants whose dreams of entering the housing market have been hampered by high housing prices. Likewise, the living structure appeals to young professionals who move frequently with work.
Co-living is expanding across the globe, including its growth in the Australian market.
Growth in Australia
The Housemonk Global Report 2019, estimated that co-living is likely to become a $100 billion industry within the next few years. Growth in this market sector has notably been evident in Australia.
Housemonk found that Australia’s shared living market had increased from $US1.4 million in 2018 to $US5.1 million ($7.4 million) in 2019.
A large contribution to Australia’s growth in this industry is due to Hmlet. The Singaporean-based company has become Australia’s largest co-living operator.
Already becoming the fastest-growing operator in Asia-Pacific, the company has recently extended its growth in Australia by opening its 82-unit development in St Peters, Sydney. Other operators in the Australian market include UKO and Space10.
So why are these spaces becoming popular and are there any downsides to the structure? The following image compares the positives and negatives of this innovative new market.
A new model of living requires a new way of delivering internet. A residential fibre-to-premises (FTTP) network does not provide a suitable solution for a co-living environment.
Co-living residents move around the building precinct, engage with other tenants and pursue shorter lease periods. A fixed network with 12-24 month residential plans does not allow for the flexibility that residents require. It’s important that the network reflects the practical movements of the user.
Under a co-living environment, residents will have access to common areas around a building. They will require network connectivity as they move around the building to visit the various common areas such as entertainment rooms, gym etc.
It’s therefore practical to have a wireless mesh installed to provide wireless connectivity no matter where the user is; allowing the resident to remain connected.
Co-living tenants are generally young professionals who have to move for work. An appealing feature to tenants under this structure is to have all the building services in one single weekly bill. This includes the internet.
A network provider can partner directly with the building operator who receives bulk savings and can ultimately pass these savings onto the end-user.
VostroNet’s Network for Managed Units
VostroNet offers a tailored build-to-rent/co-living network to developments across Australia. The model used is similar to a student accommodation network, whereby the network provider offers bulk supply and savings to the developer/operator.