Pascal De Keyser
European co-living investments surge exponently.
Co-living is a loose term. Broadly it’s about “living together with people you’re not related to, u Julia Martin, head of student housing & co-living, EMEA international capital markets, at global real estate advisor JLL, sees the term emerging from the professionalisation of the ‘flexible living’ market. Co-living, she says, fits neatly between student accommodation and single-family housing in the lifecycle of people’s housing needs. “Co-living is a nascent market for investors,” says Julia Martin of JLL, which last year published The European Co-Living Best Practice Guide in partnership with the Urban Land Institute.
“The investment curve is on an exponential rise,” she explains. The co-living sector received €963mn of investment in 2022, over half of the total investment (€1.8bn) received since 2015 and 2021, according to JLL. Julia Martin of JLL.
“A significant number of more classic institutions and insurance companies are now looking at the co-living sector. They haven’t necessarily found the access point yet, but with the number of conversations we’re having it’s definitely on the radar,” she adds. Most investment has been in the UK, France and the Netherlands, and more recently in Spain. “Smaller deal volumes have completed in Germany, Denmark and Sweden,” says JLL. Where is the demand for co-living coming from? Feeding into the growth of co-living are five key factors:
The dire shortage of affordable housing, and the growth of urban populations
The rise in the number of single households
The loneliness pandemic
Increased demand for more ‘flexible’ ways of living, with flexible leases
The rise of hybrid working and the digital nomad
Another factor is that GenZ, the first truly digital and global generation, is coming of age. The oldest GenZers are now 24 years old, and they are setting the trends in consumer behaviour, including for the older generations.