The UK's co-living sector has trebled since 2019 as the formerly London-centric concept catches on around the country.
Popular with recent graduates and young professionals, co-living - which technically is often classsed as HMO - is a form of purpose-built rental housing generally comprising studio bedroom units and large amounts of high-quality communal space such as gyms, co-working areas, resident lounges and cinemas.
The number of co-living beds completed and opened to residents more than doubled last year, with 2,000 new beds in operation, bringing the total number to 3,422 and a further 21,599 in the pipeline, reports Savills.
'There has been a significant surge in co-living pipeline activity since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, with residents drawn to this type of tenure due to its emphasis on community and resident interaction at a time when we weren't able to venture far from our homes'�, says Paul Wellman, associate director of research.
'In the five years to March 2020, applications were submitted nationally for 10,950 co-living beds. Yet in the three years since then, plans for a further 12,150 beds have been submitted, demonstrating the appetite from developers, investors and lenders for the sector.'�
London accounts for 82% of the total UK market, however regional cities are starting to catch up and are expected to be the main driver of growth in the short-to-medium term.
James Hanmer, head of UK PBSA investment & co-living, says Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds are proving popular cities for the concept.
'These are markets that have already seen high levels of investment into built to rent and are home to large numbers of young professionals looking for both amenities and community,'� he adds.
'However, we are also seeing schemes come forward in smaller markets such as Reading, Brighton, Guildford and Kingston, highlighting that co-living isn't solely the preserve of major cities.'�
If you want to see what an upmarket co-living space looks like then The Sessile (see main pic) in Tottenham Hale in North London by developer Way of Life, which operates seven such buildings across the capital. Its latest offers properties starting at �1,995 for a studio.