Living with a roommate has a new name: coliving. And it’s on the rise.
Real estate companies have spotted a big opportunity in formalizing roommate relationship into planned coliving developments. Several companies are offering renovated and furnished apartment units with shared spaces for people to live as roommates. The sector’s top players have 3,700 coliving units already available for rent, plus an additional 9,300 units in the pipeline nationwide, according to a report from real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
Coliving has become more popular as housing costs rise — nationally, rent has risen 20% faster than inflation since 1990, the real estate brokerage found.
Coliving’s more flexible lease terms and included amenities draw in occupants wary of paying high rates for space they might not use and being locked in for a year or more, the Cushman & Wakefield report found.
Susan Tjarksen, a managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, said coliving options would “become more ubiquitous with recent college graduates seeking to join a community and learn about a city that they are living in for the first time.”
She added that there’s strong demand for coliving and that she expects it to become a growing asset class.
L.A.’s latest entrant to the coliving market comes from London-based Node Living UK Ltd., which opened in trendy Echo Park this month. Prices for the smallest units start at $2,850, which includes utilities and furnishings.
The decor includes work by local artists and retro-style refrigerators.
The building has communal decks with grills. A building a two-minute walk down the street will have additional units and indoor community spaces.
“We come at it from a lifestyle approach,” said Node founder Anil Khera. He said he wants the units to be affordable — compared to going rates for comparable offerings nearby — convenient and comfortable.
“The residential market is failing,” he said. People are “developing some projects that are getting sold to investors not interested in their tenants. The coliving movement is trying to take the industry and disrupt it.”
Another big project to open this year is C1, a project in Marina del Rey that has both coliving and traditional apartments. It was developed by West Los Angeles-based California Landmark Group and is managed by San Francisco-based Starcity Properties Inc.
One of the big companies looking to get in on coliving is Quarters, a subsidiary of Berlin-based Medici Living Group. In January, the group announced a $300 million expansion into the United States with plans to build 1,300 units.