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Tag: Co Living

Massive 323-apartment London co-living rental block up for sale

A property described as Europe’s largest rental co-living block, The Collective Old Oak in London’s Paddington, is up for sale with bids expected to top £100m.

The industry magazine Property Week says Savills and JLL are marketing the block, which is fully occupioed with 546 residents who live in what has emerged as a ‘co-living style’ – more communally than traditional private renting.

Property Week says it understands that this is not the first time the building was for sale – one investor said he had been approached by Knight Frank last year.

The niche nature of co-working, says the magazine, has led some market experts to suggest it may be difficult to attract buyers.

A spokesman for The Collective says now that co-living “has been proven”, the time is right “to assess investor appetite”.

More Than Just A Solution For Lonely Millennials

As we begin to near the end of 2016, a new trend is setting itself up for a big boom in 2017: co-living spaces. Co-living spaces are a new form of affordable housing that allows tenants to move into a building where they have their own bedroom, but share a common area including kitchen and bathrooms with other tenants. They are aimed to be friendly, comfortable, and convenient living products that build more of a sense of community among tenants.

Some might be thinking, “Who would ever want to live like that?” and the answer is millennials. Millennials have been jumping at the opportunity to live in co-living spaces such as Common in New York City, which received over 10,000 applications for one of their 100 bedroom co-living spaces this past year.

Many like to believe that millennials are drawn to co-living spaces because of similarities to the generations old college dormitories; however, co-living spaces are much more than anyone’s old residence hall. While the two are similar in the sense that they encourage a more sociable lifestyle, co-living spaces are more of a cross between student housing and hotels. The buildings are completely furnished, and in most cases, utilities and other services such as cleaning are built right into the monthly rent. This style of living is also especially appealing to millennials because of their lack of focus on physical possessions. Those who have been studying the trends of co-living spaces have taken note of the fact that millennials tend to focus on experiences rather than possessions, making co-living spaces an ideal living situation for this generation.

While millennials are taking advantage of the perks brought to the table with co-living spaces, the rest of society can benefit from these housing options as well. Co-living spaces are beginning to offer a solution to the urban housing crunch in many ways. Obviously, this form of living has helped to end the shortage of affordable housing options for young adults. It should also be noted that this type of living has the potential to increase urban real estate values and add pressure to maximize profit per square foot.

Co-living startup Common raises $16M from LeFrak et al.

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Co-living startup Common raised $16 million in a new venture funding round that included firms with ties to the LeFrak, Mack and Milstein families.

Investment firm 8VC led the funding round. The Milstein Family’s Circle Ventures, Solon Mack Capital, the leFrak Organization, Maveron, Lowercase Capital, Slow Ventures and Pierre Lamond also chipped in.

Common, founded by Brad Hargreaves in 2015, rents entire apartment buildings and then sublets rooms in shared units. It currently operates two buildings in Crown Heights and one in Williamsburg, and plans to expand to more New York City locations as well as San Francisco and Washington D.C. by the end of the year. A third Crown Heights location is scheduled to open in July, Hargreaves said.

The company had previously raised $7.35 million in a Series A round.

Hargreaves told The Real Deal that it will spend the bulk of the newly raised money on developing technology that will allow Common members to better communicate with each other – for example to schedule and coordinate events.

He added that Common has no plans to partner with the LeFraks, Macks or Milsteins on real estate deals for now, but wants to tap into their “immense expertise” to help grow its business.

China’s co-living boom puts hundreds of millennials under one roof

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In April 2016 WeWork, a $16 billion company that leases office space and then rents it out to startups, launched its most radical experiment yet. It unveiled WeLive, residential properties in New York and DC that house young professionals in pampered, if cramped, apartments with Silicon Valley-style amenities like free yoga classes, daily housekeeping services, and unlimited beer.

The premise was hailed as bold and visionary. But it’s actually nothing new. Co-living for young professionals has been alive and well in China for years—and it is growing much faster than in the US. Nationwide chains offer thousands of temporary housing units for millennials eager to live away from their parents, and with each other.
And they’re raising huge amounts of money. There’s Mofang Gongyu, the Warburg Pincus-backed Shanghai company with over 1,000 units, that raised $300 million in funding in May and is now reportedly worth over $1 billion (link in Chinese). Then there’s Youke Yijia, which raised $22 million in November 2014 (link in Chinese), and Mogu Gongyu, backed by IDG Ventures China and Ping An insurance, which raised $30 million that same month (link in Chinese).

The best-known chain among China’s startup community, if not the largest, is You+. After co-founders Liu Yang and Liu Xin opened the first branch in Guangzhou in 2012, they sought venture capital and quickly established a nationwide chain of residences with the help of Su Di, one of the architects behind Beijing’s Innoway startup hub. You+ currently claims to house over 10,000 people across its 16 branches and has received over $20 million in venture capital funding from prominent Chinese investors including Xiaomi founder Lei Jun.

You+’s residences have a warehouse-chic look not uncommon for co-working spaces, but with a few local twists. In the Guangzhou branch along Baogang Avenue, Chinese pop blasts from the speakers as residents peck at their laptops or play pool. Washing machines take QR codes for payments using WeChat. Cigarette smoking—which would get one exiled in Silicon Valley—is permitted. Ashtrays are on almost every table in the common area.

Most bedrooms are between 20 to 50 square meters, and cost 2,000 yuan ($303) per month to rent. Bathrooms are private. The minimum duration of a stay is six months. Many You+ residents are startup founders or employees. Guangzhou isn’t the startup center that Beijing is, but its large population and proximity to manufacturing hubs like Shenzhen and Dongguan keep its tech industry relatively vibrant. They don’t necessarily choose to live in You+ to save money on rent—2000 yuan per month in Tianhe, on of Guangzhou’s main business districts, will get one a complete apartment of equal size, and prices go lower in more remote parts of the city. But You+ lets young Chinese live in an environment that’s more social than the average apartment complex.