New data shows increase in renters opting for coliving

Woodside, Wimbledon - Built Asset Management | BTR News
Woodside, Wimbledon

One of London’s largest coliving operators – Built Asset Management – has revealed data that shows an increase in renters ditching single-lets in favour of coliving. From 1 July to 31 August, there was a 312% increase in new rental contracts taken out within coliving properties – from renters coming from single-lets – compared to January and February – pre-lockdown.

“Typically, the bulk of our incoming occupants are young professionals either moving from existing house share accommodation in the city or entering London’s rental market for the first time. Post-lockdown, however, we have seen a real ‘Covid-effect’ coming into play with a huge increase in renters vacating single-let accommodation in favour of co-living, a trend which shows no signs of slowing down throughout September.

Alex Gibbs, Co-Founder and Director, Built Asset Management 

Built Asset Management ask all prospective tenants seeking coliving accommodation anecdotally for their reasons for leaving their current housing situation. According to those leaving single-let accommodation between July to August, the top three reasons were:

  • 32% were seeking more financially viable accommodation options.
  • 25% were seeking coliving properties to avoid the feelings of isolation.
  • 20% were seeking flexibility with a view to potentially purchasing a property afterwards.

The data also revealed the average age of tenants leaving single-let accommodation in favour of coliving was 36.1 years old – eight years older than Built Asset Management ’s average age of tenants – which is 28.2 years old.

“Undoubtedly, changes in personal and work circumstance as a direct result of Covid-19 have led to many renters seeking a more financially-viable route in the form of shared accommodation; ultimately a more affordable option than single-lets. What’s perhaps more interesting, though, is that a relatively high proportion of our new tenants have directly cited trepidation about the feeling of isolation as their main reason for exiting the single-let market.

“The negative impact of lockdown on mental health appears to have had a direct effect on rental behaviour. It’s also interesting to note that one in five new tenants have cited increased flexibility as a key reason for selecting this type of accommodation, with a medium-term plan to purchase a property rather than to continue renting.  

“We will want more data in order to make stronger inferences here, however, initial signs suggest that the lockdown and the wider pandemic have caused Londoners to re-evaluate their priorities and potentially their attitudes towards renting in the long term”

Alex Gibbs, Co-Founder and Director, Built Asset Management